Grace That Transforms
August 16, 2016
I have felt stirred to document what the Lord has been doing in my heart lately, but I have had trouble finding the right words.
He’s drawing me to Himself in a way that I haven’t experienced in quite awhile. In areas in my life where I have seen a lot of barrenness, I am starting to see the budding flowers that I know will eventually become fruit.
The promises of Spring are calling my name. Grace like rain is softening this dry heart of mine.Grace causes us to worship God. Every time. Click To Tweet
We can’t help but respond to God in this way.
For me, often, giving up earthly pleasures is a way I worship God.
I used to think that I HAD TO give up earthly pleasures for God to hear my cries, my prayers better.
Quite contrary, when I freely lay down earthly pleasures that can ultimately distract me from the Lord, I can hear Him better.
Earthly pleasures are not bad or evil, but they can distort our focus and devotion to God if we allow them to have too much room in our heart and mind.
By casting aside those earthly distractions, I am free to experience unhindered communion with my Father, and I am able to still my soul to receive all that He has for me.
For almost two years, as a new mom, I have attempted to still my soul in my own strength. I have tried to recreate my quiet time that I used to have before my son was born.
God never changes but I have changed, and I believe the Lord has taught me how to seek Him in new ways so that I do not grow comfortable or complacent in my prayer life. He has also taught me not to judge my prayer life with earthly measurement= time.
Often we forget that God is not bound by our human standard of time:
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8 NKJV).
So if one day in heaven equals a thousand years here on earth, how much do you think God can accomplish with our five minutes with Him?
I am learning to receive God’s grace in this area of my life because like I said, it doesn’t look the same as it did before I became a mom. I have occasionally beat myself up for this, thinking that I haven’t been “pulling my weight” to see change happen in me.
Friends, God doesn’t need you to spend hours and hours and hours in His Presence for Him to do a deep work in your heart.
Sure, those hours and hours and hours are amazing because I enjoy just spending time with God, but not required for the Lord to change me in major ways.
It is by His Spirit that He will change me, in His time. He calls us to partner with His Spirit, yes, but our effort alone is not what transforms us.
I’m thankful that He is renewing my mind when I center my thoughts on Him and posture myself to receive His truth that is found in His Word.
Just reading through this post is evidence that the Lord is breaking off those legalistic ways and aligning my thoughts to reflect His grace and truth, and that is exactly why Jesus came.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17 KJV).
March 28, 2016
“Hi, my name is Emily, and I am a recovering perfectionist.”
It took me many years to finally admit that. If there was a goal or task to accomplish, I would throw all of myself into successfully completing it. I still have great work ethic, but the problem was the fact that I was too concerned with what people thought of me. Accomplishment and drive became the meaning behind every breath I took; I found my identity in my performance and productivity. I wanted to impress everyone, including God. Because of all of that pressure, I was a huge ball of stress and anxiety constantly.
Then I became a (stay-at-home) mom.
If I wasn’t drained before, this took exhaustion to a whole new level!
I have to admit, I tried to keep my balancing act going right out of the gate, but it did not take very long for all of my plates to shatter on the floor. It became very obvious that I could not do it all. I felt so utterly weak. I needed help and thankfully, I knew Who to ask.
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul hears an encouraging word from the Lord about His grace and power, and Paul responds in gladly boasting that he is weak:
And [The Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NKJV).
That idea was so foreign to this goal-oriented momma, but I was ready to see Christ’s power and strength in my life. I began saying “no” to tasks and events that I didn’t have peace about being involved with. I needed to be careful of what I allowed on my plate and what I committed to outside of my home in this new season of my life. Even after a year and half, I am still living by those habits and guidelines.
I have learned to press into the Lord’s strength when I notice I am experiencing stress or anxiety. My go-to prayer is “Help me, Jesus!” and I am not afraid to boast that I am totally weak and need God’s strength. I know that cry is enough for God to move in my life and help me balance all of my responsibilities as a new mom. Like the good Father He is, He is so excited to step in when life gets too overwhelming. I have experienced great peace in my life that I know is because of God’s grace being displayed in abundance.Boasting in your weakness requires humility and we know God gives grace to the humble. Click To Tweet
“But [God] gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ (James 4:6, ESV)
I have learned to rest in Christ’s performance on the Cross, no longer feeling as if I have to perform to impress other people or God. His love for me is not based on how much I accomplish for Him or don’t accomplish. That goes for my “quiet-time” with Him too, which is not so quiet these days. I’m willing to admit I’m weak in that area of my life as well, and need His grace.My weakness does not mean that my love for Jesus is weak or false. Click To Tweet
Each day, I learn to lean on His strength instead of my own and He never disappoints me! His grace is enough!
What about you? Do you find yourself struggling with “perfectionist syndrome?”
If so, send me an email and we can encourage one another!
I also invite you to pray this prayer with me:
Father, I repent for trying to find my identity in my accomplishments and performance, thinking it all would make you love me more. You love me not because I am perfect, but because Your Son is. I am ready to boast in my weakness and frailty and trust Jesus’ empowering grace to give me strength in my daily life. Lord, I find strength in You alone and trust Your strengthen is perfected in my weakness! I believe I will see Your mighty power as You use this weak vessel for Your glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Red Nose Day: An Opportunity to Lend to the Lord
May 23, 2017
One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,
And He will repay him for his [l]good deed (Proverbs 19:17, NASB).
Like I talked about in my last post, Red Nose Day is quickly approaching! This campaign is such a great opportunity as believers to support a cause that is so near to the Lord’s heart, as we find in Proverbs 19, being gracious and lending a hand to the poor and needy, not for our name’s sake but for His.
The organization behind Red Nose Day is Comic Relief Inc. Although Comic Relief is not a faith-based organization, plenty of faith-based and Christian organizations are partnering with them, longing to do their part to see child poverty erased. Comic Relief’s strategy to make this goal a reality is to provide grants to organizations that keep children healthy, safe and educated in the USA and around the world such as Save the Children, Boys & Girls Club, and Children’s Health Fund.
I had the privilege of chatting with Comic Relief’s Vice President of Grants and Philanthropy in the United States, Rick Scott, last week. I was able to hear a little more about his journey with the organization, which started in the UK over 20 years ago, and his mission to see Red Nose Day expand in the US.
Since Red Nose Day launched in the US in 2015, they have seen growth in the involvement and awareness by at least 60%. In Comic Relief Inc.’s first two years in the United States, they have raised over $60 million. Globally, Red Nose Day has raised over $1 billion since its launch in the UK in 1988! I love seeing that kind of money put to a great cause such as helping children!
Between the funds of the red noses that you can purchase at Walgreens or Duane Reade and the donations and grants of organizations, Comic Relief is seeing more and more people, both regular Joe’s and major influential people such as Bill Gates, join the cause behind Red Nose Day.
One of the reasons I believe Comic Relief’s clever idea behind Red Nose Day is catching momentum around the world is the mere fact that comedy is a universal language. Everyone smiles and laughs, no matter what age you are, what part of the world you are from, or how much money you have in your pocket.
“When you put on a red nose, you get a reaction (a laugh) and people want to know more,” Scott said.
You put on this red nose, the walls come down, and we can now start a conversation about the heartbeat behind “the nose,” helping children trapped in poverty.
And since we are all created in the image of God, I don’t think many can escape the great tug on your heart when you see someone in need, especially a child.
So will you join me in bringing awareness- whether that is promoting this great organization so that those who are able to give, find the perfect place for their money, or if you don’t have thousands of dollars at your disposal that you are able to donate, consider at least buying a red nose at your local Walgreens or Duaine Reade?
Consider it a loan to the Lord. It will not go unnoticed to Him.
And most importantly, don’t forget to tune in on Thursday May 25 at 8/7c for a night of Red Nose Day — only on NBC.
From Brokenness to Restoration
April 21, 2017
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6 NKJV).
The work God has done in my heart can definitely be described as one big (de)construction project- from tearing down walls that were erected from what I experienced as a child to restoring the brokenness created by my six year prodigal journey running away from the Father.
And as long as I am breathing in oxygen on this fallen planet, this heart of mine is a total work in progress.
In the process, the Lord has built patience in me- that in and of itself is a total miracle for this sometimes stubborn and driven personality of mine.
I believe God can change us in an instant, but chooses the longer, sometimes grueling and painful road, because it requires us to trust Him in the waiting and allows our history with Him to deepen in such a beautiful way.
I have talked quite a bit about “seasons of soul” on my blog because it amazes me to see how the Lord proves Himself faithful in the valleys and the mountain-top experiences of life. Instead of focusing on the crashing waves that may try to overwhelm us, when we choose to fix our eyes on Jesus, we trust that He won’t allow us to sink and won’t leave us alone in our storm. The same is true when everything is butterflies and rainbows. He’s still the same Jesus standing by our side: rejoicing with us, mourning with us, and cheering us on as we run the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).
Shortly after I gave birth to my son in the Fall of 2014, it seemed as if the Lord was whispering to my heart that I would be entering a “season of restoration.” This was a glorious promise because there had been numerous occurrences in my life where the enemy had stolen more than enough from me and my family. In the midst of this promise of restoration, I had no idea that I would experience one of the darkest “night of the soul” seasons in my entire life that would last for well over two years.
I experienced both natural depression and spiritual depression at the same time and because I was isolated as a new stay-at-home mom, it felt even darker for me. I can tell you that I held onto that promise of restoration with each passing day, but some days were just plain hard to keep hanging on, if I can be honest. I’m thankful to Jesus for standing by my side, as well as my husband Paul, who was so faithful through it all. There also have been friends who have been such a breath of fresh air of God’s grace to me, sharing words of encouragement and love that helped me face the day and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Their prayers were so evident in my life!
And here I am today, knowing that my dark night of the soul season has lifted. Knowing that God has been bringing my brokenness to full restoration and I’m living in that promise now!
The joy I am experiencing is overwhelming! The peace I continue to rest in surpasses anything the world can offer.
I share this with you to let you know God sees you. He knows the pain is very real. And He’s with you in the midst of your storm. Your trial has a shelf-life….even if it may be years, and even if you don’t experience relief until you see Jesus face to face, as hard as it is to say that. The Lord is forever faithful and will never leave you. Hold onto hope! Hold onto your faith in the Father! He is working behind the scenes and is faithful to complete this work that He has started in you, just like the Word promises us.
Here Comes the Sun
March 28, 2017
I have decided to say “No!” to depression. Not to sound too…well, depressing, but since December, I have felt its noose slowly begin to tighten around my neck, and I was passively allowing it.
I believe it was a combination of the effects of stress and bad eating choices, winter blues, extended sleep deprivation, and just lies bombarding me from the enemy. I was also in the midst of working Christmas retail chaos for the first time in my life, so I guess you could say I was a tad overwhelmed and a little disappointed with the lack of creative outlet in my life.
But the clouds are parting and I’m beginning to experience the sun again!
I have felt in my spirit for quite some time that I am approaching transition into new territory. Like I wrote in my last post, I have been holding onto that hope with all of my might. I have been in survival mode for far too long, and I am ready for my life to thrive again. And not just for me but for the sake of those God has entrusted to me and who He is now sending my way.
The Bible verse that has been on my heart lately comes from Isaiah 60:1:
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you (NKJV).
This verse is displayed in my son’s room because it is one of my favorites found in the book of Isaiah.
What it says to me is that there is an action required for me to see the glory of the Lord rise upon me and that is I MUST ARISE! I can’t just sit there passively and let the devil continue to beat me up with his stinkin’ lies! I must rise up! I must stand up and most importantly, stand upon God’s truth and promises!
*Edit 4/4/2017- Shortly after I wrote the words above, a decision was unexpectedly made for me regarding my current evening schedule. God pretty much closed a door for me in an area of my life that was causing strife, stress, and strain in my marriage. Ha! How about that alliteration for ya?!
What seemed like something the Lord had asked me to do for quite some time, turned out to be a very short season for me in the end. Eight months later (8 symbolizes “new beginnings” in the Bible), I’m finding myself facing another “new beginning” in my life. Suddenly all this unnecessary weight I was carrying has been lifted off of my shoulders, and even though I could sense God’s grace carrying me through this last season, I still feel lighter in some way.
And now that my physical circumstances have rearranged to help alleviate stress and tension, I know that I still must hold onto hope and stand upon God’s truth because the enemy isn’t going to stop his dumb tactics to steal my peace and joy. This new change will require trusting God in a greater way regarding our physical needs because it has taken some of the control out of our hands and we have no choice but to trust that God will provide no matter what.
I just love how God cares about all aspects of our life instead of just our spiritual health. He will move on our behalf so that we can experience the life Jesus died for us to have. The more we look to Him to fulfill and satisfy, the more we discover how great a Father He is to us. He never disappoints!
Even if you can’t see it, He is working behind the scenes always. Even if you don’t feel the sunshine just yet, know that the clouds are going to part. Hold on! Stand up! Trust and believe!
Holding Onto Hope
March 17, 2017
“Hold onto hope!” were some of the last few words I wrote in my journal as I reflected over my current circumstances.
I had no idea how much the word “hope” would become even more tangible to me as it has bubbled up inside of me these last few weeks while Paul and I have been discussing our future.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
Now, I understand that many Bible scholars and Bible thumpers HATE when people quote this particular verse to apply it towards any given circumstance in life. Many agree that it is widely taken out of context.
I understand that the Lord is talking to Israel through His prophet Jeremiah in this passage, and I also understand that the Israelites would have to endure seventy years of captivity in Babylon before they began to see God’s promise of a great future come to pass.
But does that mean that God’s plans towards us are not good or that we should not remain hopeful of a glorious future ahead?
Of course not!
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NKJV).
God’s character has not changed and He loves us just as He loves His chosen people, Israel.
Yet, we definitely need to remember that our definition of good and God’s definition of good could be two completely different things and those plans could possibly involve some suffering and challenges on our way to that glorious future.
And the Lord knows Paul and I have endured some of those challenges and suffering over the last few years that have tested our faith and shaken our hope in the Lord’s promises to us, especially as it concerns our desire for debt freedom- a dream we have had since very early on in our marriage, which has always been accompanied by very limited time together from all of the jobs we have had to take on to see that dream become a reality.
Although those difficult and sometimes painful experiences seem to have loomed over our heads these last two years, they have most definitely become more intensified these last six months or so.
Our son Isaiah has always seemed to have sleeping issues since he was born, but in late September until early February, he was waking up every single night (no exaggeration), multiple times, into the early morning hours. This just so happened to be around the same time I started my new part-time job in retail where for almost three months (well over 20 hours a week) I wouldn’t get home until close to one o’clock in the morning (thanks to those lovely extended holiday hours). All I wanted to do was sleep during the day, and I dreaded having to do it all over again that night, not to mention hating all the time I was missing out on with my family and friends on the weekends as well.
I didn’t know how quickly this would all catch up to me- my health definitely took a turn for the worse, which was difficult for me to experience since I was in the best shape of my life after working out for an entire year straight, eating clean, and taking supplements. But in December, I began experiencing severe bloating, fatigue, and issues with my menstrual cycle that culminated in a chemical pregnancy, which is a type of early miscarriage, because my hormones were extremely imbalanced from all of the added stress. I was having panic attacks in the middle of the night and arguments increased between Paul and I because of the sleep deprivation and utter exhaustion from dealing with a child who would inconsolably scream for hours through the night. Did I mention we live in an apartment complex? I’m sure our neighbors just adore us. 🙂
But thanks be to God…and to friends who have been praying for us continually!
We have seen great improvement in Isaiah’s sleep and in my health this last month! I have had no choice but to hold onto hope. I have had no choice but to fight to hold onto my peace and joy and to fight for my marriage.
I’ve held onto it all with a death-grip, really.
I refuse to sink. I refuse to let the enemy win because frankly, he’s a loser and has already lost the battle.
My Jesus has already won the war!
I know this sounds kinda cheesy, but it has such a deep truth:
I don’t know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future.
God does.I will hold onto the hope that God is holding onto me. Click To Tweet
Whatever you are facing today, know that God is holding you. He’s got this and He’s not going to let you down. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9) and His plans are greater than you could ever ask, think, or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
HOLD ONTO HOPE IN JESUS TODAY, FRIEND! He is your anchor and won’t let you sink!
I’m holding on to hope
I’m holding on to grace
I’m fully letting go
I’m surrendered to Your ways
The anchor for my soul
Father You will never change
I love You, I love You
–From “Anchor” by Bethel Music
Discovering My (Mis)Identification
December 5, 2016
I figured most of you wouldn’t mind if I just wrote very “stream of consciousness”-esque today.
It’s much easier for me these days, it seems.
Little sleep and working long and late retail holiday hours have left me a tad burnt out for much creativity.
I’m hoping that this writer’s block season is almost over because, jeezo peet, I miss it.
A part of me was willing to say “good-bye” or at least “see ya next time” because it has seemed like such a struggle to even sit down with any ounce of writing inspiration. I have been wondering if my writing season was coming to an end and the Lord wanted me to focus on using another gift.
But what if there is no outlet for any of my talents?
Man, it’s been like this for awhile. At least I’ve always had a place to write. My blog gave me somewhat of a platform and influence, even if it was small.
The more I reflect upon this void feeling, the more I wonder if this is the working of the Potter as He molds me and changes my heart’s desires even more to sound like His heartbeat.
But it seems quiet around here.
The question that I can’t seem to escape has been:
What if this whole time He has been stripping me from identities that were not how He truly sees me?
I know that because of my lack of productivity I have had to learn to just be and most importantly, just be His daughter. This is a lesson that has come with many tests, and I admit that I have failed several times. The Lord just keeps the opportunities a’coming to pass and move onto the next level. But when will that ever happen?
Formlessness is what this is called. I’m in process. I’m on the wheel. I’ve been on the wheel. For a long time it seems.
I haven’t been able to hold onto any label or (mis)identification for many months, you guys.
I used to be Emily Rose Mollet- actress, singer, dancer.
Then I became Emily Rose Massey (seven years ago today, actually)- worship leader, writer, youth pastor, singer/songwriter, author, speaker
Besides my often forced hand at writing and occasionally leading a women’s Bible study once every 6-8 weeks or so, I don’t do any of those things anymore.
I’m not really any of those things anymore.
But here’s the kicker…
…I NEVER truly was any of those things. I am a daughter of the Most High God! That’s the only identity that matters, right? That’s the greatest position I will ever stand in, right?
Although I would have told you straight to your face that my identity is not in what I do, I don’t know if I whole-heartedly believed that.
And that is why I think the Lord has had to strip me down where I do none of those things, with absolutely no opportunities in sight to even attempt them, or having very little desire or passion left in me to attempt doing any of those things at all and not much grace to accomplish them.
I’d love to tell you that because I haven’t been allowed to busy myself that I have had powerful encounters with Jesus every day during my quiet times while my son napped. Sometimes that was the case. But more often than not, I wrestled with this issue of mis-identification, asking God why, when, how…
…wondering what this sense of void really was all about and if it would ever go away.
Maybe today is the day I stop resisting His hand and yield to it. Funny I say that, considering the title of my book, Yielded in His Hands.I know who I am called to be. And most important, whose I am called to be. Click To Tweet
Yes, I’m in process on this Potter’s wheel, but I know the end result is quite a masterpiece.
Until then, I’m on a search to discover this true identity as God’s daughter and allow Him to rid my heart of any mis-identification.
And I can say, it is quite the journey.
So, where have I been lately?
November 8, 2016
I know. What a great question, right?
I haven’t let so much time pass in between blog posts in years. I’m not a huge fan of seeing just one post written per month, but honestly, there really isn’t much I am able to do about that right now, in the current season I am in.
As I look through my blog posts over the last two years, especially after becoming a (stay-at-home) mom, I found myself saying “I haven’t had much mental clarity or energy” to actually get words out.
I thought that would be a hurdle I would eventually get over once my son wasn’t a newborn anymore, or when he started sleeping through the night (which is STILL an issue on and off, month after month) , or when I was finished nursing, or maybe when he was able to walk and didn’t have to be carried everywhere, or…
…well, what I found was that my “hurdles list” started to never end as my son got older.
Ad he just so happened to have turned two years old a few weeks ago on October 11th.
So, here I am, two years into this “mom-thing,” and I have come to a conclusion regarding this whole lack-of-mental-clarity-and-energy-thing:
Being a mom is hard.
I know there might be young moms out there whose child(ren) sleep(s) so well all the time, lays down for naps like clock-work without a struggle or wrestling match, do(es) not attempt to climb every piece of furniture in the entire house or knock lamps over repeatedly for sport or pull the flat screen TV down onto the floor multiple times even after getting hurt or dismantle every picture frame on shelves that you didn’t think they could reach yet or throw their entire body weight into the baby gate to craftily escape, enoy(s) car rides or trips to the grocery store and do(es) not mind one bit being buckled in a car-seat or a cart or even conveniently bundled up close to your chest in a baby carrier so you can be hands-free and perhaps be somewhat productive for a couple hours, and may even sit still and calmly while you have coffee or lunch with a friend just to indulge in a little adult conversation and take a break from listening to Baby Einstein, Barney, or Toy Story for the Ten ba-jillionith time.
If you cannot tell, my child LOVES doing or not doing all of those things and quite consistently, might I add.
I, of course, say all of that in fun, but in all honesty, my son is such an intensely strong-willed and energetic boy. I know I am utterly blessed to have such a healthy, strong, and smart little boy in my life, who is honestly such a sweetheart and loves his mama something fierce, but this mama gets tired some days…
…well, most days.
And for the last two months, I have also added a part-time job to the mix in the evenings and weekends, so I probably shouldn’t be too hard on myself for not staying on top of my blogging game.
With all of that said, I have noticed how much I have needed an outlet to express myself and perhaps externally process the stress and tension created from all of this constant demand for mental and physical stamina.
This constant go, go, go and lack of uninterrupted sleep for two years straight has had an effect on my health, and I now have to pay close attention to what I am fueling my body with to make sure I am getting the proper nutrients for these taxing days. I’m very thankful for the revelation about the importance of my health and fitness and for the wisdom God has given me to learn how to take care of my body and soul, and most importantly, my spirit.
I am also grateful that I’m definitely not where I used to be regarding my health and fitness, but it is an ongoing journey that has become a lifestyle that I plan on continuing for the rest of my days here on earth. He created us body, soul, and spirit and all of us matters to Him.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if it was not for the grace of God I don’t think I would be able to manage the overwhelming amount of stress that I encounter on a day to day basis.
Seriously, I don’t know what people do without Jesus.
That is Who I choose to lean on when the days get long and the road gets rough, and that will never change.
And that’s where I have been and where I am at right now.
I need Jesus. Every hour I need Jesus.
Father, I take this moment to lift up those super-mommas out there who, like me, are feeling a bit overwhelmed. I pray that they can sense Your nearness, that Your peace would surround them, and that Your all-sufficient grace will carry them through each demanding day ahead. In Jesus’ name. Amen and Amen.
What I have learned in the last 30 days
October 12, 2016
Well, it’s been exactly one month since I last sat down to write a blog post.
Needless to say, I’ve had other tasks on my list to accomplish that demanded my attention, along with some new adventures during the day, and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the time.
I also started a new season back into the marketplace in the evenings and weekends exactly one month ago . Although there are a lot of similarities to my previous job experience in medical customer service, this new job in retail customer service has strengthened and encouraged my inner man in ways that I didn’t know how desperately I needed.
With that said, I have come to the conclusion that no matter where you go, there are mean, unhappy people everywhere.
You want to know why?
Because they are unaware of what they can have in Jesus.
I can make a statement like that because I have experienced such a deep change in my soul since I was last placed in a similar position consistently encountering hurt folks who are just so empty.
“You can’t give away what you don’t have,” I have found myself saying a lot lately. Instead of getting offended at how a customer may treat me, I have chosen to hand them the fruit (of the Spirit) that they need in that moment.
A lot of them need God’s kindness and love. Patience as well as peace are both two major fruit that people are just so hungry for.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25, NKJV).
I know that I am a carrier of the fruit of the Spirit because I am a believer, but I had no idea how much the Lord has blessed me with to give away and how my soul has not been very shaken up by rude attitudes. Honestly, I haven’t even encountered that many mean customers. It’s almost like the minute they step up to the customer service desk, they are greeted with a giant basket of the fruit of the Spirit to partake of freely before they even have time to make a fuss or allow their attitude to surface! Ha!
Because I am rooted and abiding in the Vine (Jesus), I can receive more of His grace as the nourishment I need to continue to produce and mature more fruit. I have thoroughly enjoyed this new assignment from the Lord and have been encouraged to discover that many of my superiors and co-workers have frequently made mention of what a fantastic job I am doing in customer service, especially the way that I interact with the customers. When I was offered the position, I was told that the company typically doesn’t allow someone to begin as a customer service associate. Then the store manager added, “But I just believe you will be perfect in that role and we would love to have you!”
I tell you all of this, not to brag on how awesome I am, but how absolutely awesome God is!
Without the Holy Spirit, I know I would be prone to anxiety and stress, hardness of heart, and I would also be so easily offended.
With His help, I am able to not only be a light for Jesus but a carrier of His presence, revealing the evidence of so many of His attributes found in the fruit of the Spirit!
People of God, we have to make sure we are abiding in the Vine so that we can bear lasting fruit for the Kingdom! So many people need to taste and see that the Lord is good and through you, they will be able to do that!
Will you have anything for them to eat?
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another (John 15: 16-17, NKJV).