Lately I feel like I am out running a major storm of Cat 5 proportions. Everywhere I look, I see panic. Warnings of shutdowns and threats of more violence abound on the news that filters to me. The “run run hurry hurry” panic builds in my chest. Slow down, Milly. Let’s see through the darkening atmosphere.
22 And the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,
23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law;
24 and those who are Christ’s, the flesh did crucify with the affections, and the desires;
25 if we may live in the Spirit, in the Spirit also we may walk;
In my picture racing out of the storm I thought, “How ironic, when we stop, the storm will catch up with us.” Do you feel this way?
This era reminds me of how the news scared me as a kid during the unrest in the 60s and 70s. In my circle of friends we would try to figure out how to protect ourselves, friends and family. It made us feel better. I was in this group. You could call us the mini preppers. Yes, kids do think about these things.
Some friends acted out their fear with temper tantrums and misbehavior, like the protesters and rioters. A few hid and refused to discuss the fear. They were the deniers. And others figured out how to profit from the situations, they were our opportunists and politicians.
We were all different in how we reacted to the storms of life. When faced with a storm, my first reaction is to prepare. There are pros and cons to each group. The question is how can God use our natural reactions to bring forth his fruits?
8 for ye were once darkness, and now light in the Lord; as children of light walk ye,
9 for the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth,
10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Lord,
11 and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of the darkness and rather even convict,
A few weeks ago, I realized our hurricane supplies had run low because of the virus crisis and shutdowns. True Floridians prepare all year long for a six month hurricane season. It is important to keep our shelves stocked with at least a supply for a month.
In my family, we deplete the supplies in November and December. It helps pay for the upcoming holiday meals. Then I rotate and restock the supplies from January through May as needed. I usually don’t have to make a mad dash to the store.
Once the information sank in, I said to my husband, “We’re still in hurricane season! And there might be a shutdown or worse case scenario!” My Prepper instinct kicked into high gear! I have to save my family! Yes it was a little extreme but my husband supported a slower approach. Once I calmed down, he and I split the work and figured out how to restock in smaller tasks.
I’ve been restocking for a few weeks now and we are well stocked for a hurricane or something. I was in Walmart yesterday morning checking the stragglers off my list. Like me, many others had a short list and were getting their items. I also noticed the panic buyers for Halloween and the predicted election shenanigans started to fill the store. They stormed through the aisles, leaving anxiety in their wake. I picked up a couple more items and headed for the checkout.
When I arrived at the registers, the lines were long. I looked in my cart. Whoa! Where did all that stuff come from? I backed out of line and went through each item. I had gotten caught up in the momentum. Taking another circuit around the store, I put several things back in their spots where someone else could find them.
After checking out I talked to the Lord about the panic. He taught me, I have a choice in whatever I do. I can prepare but I don’t have to hoard. I choose to share and not be greedy. These choices affect all of my friend types. In adulthood I see, those who prepare are natural caretakers. Preparing allows me to give back to my community.
I have found that those who are angry, are looking for truth and justice. If they are kind, they can bring righteousness and truth into our government and communities. I know people who hide that reap goodness, righteousness and truth through the powerful tools of prayer and contemplation.
Rarely do I see the profit in a situation. But these friends make decisions that can cause goodness, and righteousness, and truth. This is how I determine my vote and associations. I watch for the results of their decisions. Remember it is all about our choices. When we choose to follow God’s path we will produce the fruits of the Spirit.
Please Pray with me:
Most Holy God, You are in control of all around us. We come to You today asking for Your guidance. Be with us in our decisions in the days to come. Thank You for giving us Your Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us as we make our way through the hidden snares and tricks of the evil one. Thank You for picking us up and setting us back on Your path when we stumble. We bless You and love You during this time of unforgiveness, judgment, lies and hatred. Help us be lights of your goodness, and righteousness, and truth to the world. Banish fear from our souls, knowing that all things work together for good to those who love God2. Thank you Father for your Love and Gifts in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen. In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Let’s chose wisely, shine brightly, and listen for those God nudges. May His Hand bless you today.
1 Young’s Literal Translation. I chose this translation since it attributes the fruits to God (the Spirit). It is important for me to see these fruits come from God Himself and not from my doing.
2 Romans 8:28 [New King James Version]