Character of God on Display
by: Joan Meyler
Are you a fruit inspector? I was at the market recently purchasing fruit to supplement my lunch. As I browsed the display of oranges, melons, kiwi, apples, etc. my thoughts drifted to the times my sister and I have spent visiting “pick your own” farms where we wandered through groves of oranges or peaches or strawberry – whatever fruit was in season – selecting what we thought were the plumpest, juiciest fruit we could find. Sometimes our selections were perfect. At other times, they just appeared to be perfect until a bite was taken. It was then that we discussed the expertise fruit inspectors must have to know just when a fruit is ready. We also talked of how tired we were after fruit picking but how satisfying it was to know that we had selected what we thought was the best to be had.
Fruit in hand, I made my way back to the office and the lunch awaiting me. The sound of footsteps behind me and the words, “Hi, are you on your lunch break?” caused me to turn and look into the face of Iyo, my nine-year-old shadow. I met Iyo at a school I visited, and we quickly became friends. Iyo is always hungry although he refuses to admit it. He is also always in need of a hug although he is not always clean. As I look into his smiling face, a phrase I recently read came to mind; “the fruit of the spirit is God’s character on display”. The joy I see in Iyo’s eyes and the peace in his smile prompts me to ask myself, “How am I as a Christian displaying God’s character?”
Like the fruit in the bag I carried, the fruit of the Holy Spirit resides in me. It is a result of God’s presence in my life. Does the fruit inspector walking beside me see the changes my relationship with God has made in my life and is it making a difference in his?
This child has accepted me, a stranger in his midst, unconditionally. He has needs, yet he asks nothing of me. As we walk down the street back to my office, I am thankful for the peace, joy and love God has shown me through this nine-year-old child.
May I encourage you to cultivate the fruit God has entrusted you with.
Love (1 John 3:18); Joy (Nehemiah 8:10); Peace (Philippians 4:6-8)
Forbearance (Colossians 1:11); Kindness (2 Timothy 2:24).
Goodness (3 John 11); Faithfulness (1 Corinthians 4:2).
Gentleness (Philippians 4:5); Self-Control (Titus 2:11-12)