We have sweetness of spirit when our lives are pleasurable to others because they’re filled with the fruit of the Spirit.
It was an ordinary day. I innocently entered my kitchen not knowing that it was going to attack me. Before my son helps me with the dishes I take the sharp knives out of the dishwasher and put them up high like a good mommy does. The home of the sharp knives, a plastic cylinder shaped bowl, was snuggled in its normal place in the upper cupboard. Instead of the knives landing in the bowl in the normal fashion, when I dropped them into place, they bounced out and performed a somersault toward my face. I quickly stepped back away from the flying knives. Stunned. Grateful that my face didn’t look like I was related to Edward Scissorhands.
Unsettled, I decided to make a cup of my green tea. Comfort food. My son began to silently unload the dishwasher. I reached for one of my favorite china mugs in an upper cabinet just beside the open dishwasher. With cup in hand I turned around, tripped on my son and fell into the upper rack of the dishwasher beside me, bounced down to the lower rack, and finally to the floor. My sole thought was that I couldn’t break that china mug in my hand. It didn’t receive a scratch. I, on the other hand, received three bruises. One was scary enough to win a lawsuit against my appliance, which has nothing against dishes, only people.
I went to my office chair to sulk and nurse my wounds. I thought my husband would come to investigate the outrageous crash that was the result of my fall. He later informed me that he just thought it was the boys. I was too humiliated to talk about being a victim attacked by a bully dishwasher anyway.
Why was this happening to me? I didn’t do anything wrong, God. I wondered. I used to tease my husband when “things” happen, “You know, God allowed that to happen to you as a test to see how you would respond.”
Well, how did I respond? I didn’t get mad. Check. Hmm… My kitchen is haunted.
After dinner I hadn’t forgotten about the kitchen events of the day, but I had to put the remaining white chicken chili in the freezer. I grabbed a freezer baggie like a good granddaughter does, since my grandma put everything “in a baggie” after Thanksgiving Dinner one year. Spooning the soup into the bag, I was lost in thought when suddenly the bag slipped from my hand and half the contents raced out onto the edge of the countertop, down the side, and splattered on the floor. I. Was. Angry!
It also made its way into the drawer under the countertop and into the cabinet below that. I was really mad now. There was no sweetness in my spirit at that moment. All that poured out was complaining and smacking things around in a huff.
You know God allowed that to happen to you as a test to see how you would respond… the devil mocked me.
Oh, shut up!
After solemn reflection, and biblical counseling mixed with a little prayer therapy, I’m not so traumatized every time I go in the kitchen now. Since I have to be in that particular room many times in a given day, I have a strategy. If my nerves become the least bit edgy I will purchase a football uniform complete with padding to wear under my apron.
What I want to know is, why did my guardian angel go on break? 😉
What Is Having Sweetness of Spirit?
That’s a humorous story, but it reminded me that I didn’t have sweetness of spirit during trying moments.
Living yielded to God isn’t easy, but obedience results in fruitfulness and growth.
Before I began surrendering minor moments of my day like this to the Holy Spirit, I let circumstances wreck my self-control. And the end result was just like this verse says:
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28 ESV
I allowed the enemy to take the victory.
But God is patient, and He began inviting me to yield to His shaping in those instances when my flesh would have rather remained stubborn.
My mother first introduced me to the phrase “sweetness of spirit” several years ago. We have sweetness of spirit when our lives are pleasurable to others because they’re filled with the fruit of the Spirit.
Fruit will ripen to just that perfect sweetness, leaving a delectable taste in your mouth. Just like eating a good piece of fruit means happy taste buds, I wanted my life to leave a good taste in your mouth.We have sweetness of spirit when our lives are pleasurable to others because they’re filled with the fruit of the Spirit. #LiveYielded #Devotional Click To Tweet
Join me for a five-day devotional journey on developing Sweetness of Spirit. It’s for those who desire to see themselves the way others see them and allow the work of the Spirit to bring a sweet change.
Go ahead and get your copy in the Live Yielded Shop! The 5-day devotional includes a set of 12 related Scripture cards.
RESPOND: Father, I understand that learning to live yielded to You isn’t easy, but I desire to see sweetness of spirit in my life. When I yield to You and obey, I will grow and produce live-giving fruit. That will bring You glory. Begin the work in me today. In Jesus’ name, amen.