We strolled through the scent of fresh fallen rain at the pace of my first born, whose tip of his Dennis the Menace cowlick came just to my waist, my second born tucked into the backpack on my back.
As we meandered around some side streets, we found ourselves on a dirt road with little pot holes along the side brimmed with fresh rain. Our slow walk turned into a stop-and-go as my toddler discovered the first puddle, stomped and splashed a while, then found the second puddle, and the third.
Enveloped in patience, I delighted in his playfulness a while, as I admired my own easiness, then gently coaxed him along.
By that third puddle, that ease was challenged when he exclaimed, "Mommy! Do you want to splash with me?!"
"N...," was headed for my tongue and out of my mouth as I heard a gentle voice within say, "Why not?"
Scrambling for reasons, I looked down at my feet and, like a lens zooming in on the obvious, I saw bare feet in summer flip flops.
"Why not!" I exclaimed. And we splashed together in messy joy, puddle to puddle, all the way home.
Isn't that how the Holy Spirit works? Whether we are fully enveloped by the fruits of the Spirit or we barely hear that whisper of direction and council, when our natural inclination may be the very opposite; how ever the Spirit pours into our lives, our response to Him just takes us to a whole new level of living – more patience, deeper joy, love with abandon, etc. – and we have the ability to pour directly into another person's life because of it. This is profound!
This is a Gift…
Because sometimes we don't want to jump in the puddles. We want to stay neat and clean and not be bothered. We'll walk along side someone as long as it doesn't get too messy. And we'll even pat ourselves on the back in our limited generosity because we, too often, allow our emotions to be our guide.
But love, which God is, through the power of the Holy Spirit, leads us a different way, a selfless way. And when we accept whatever that may look like, at whatever the cost, we find deeper meaning and purpose in these moments that add up to our life…
Because by His leading, we'll always find joy in the mess.
So let us not forget the Gift as we walk this broken road full of pot holes and muddy puddles.
And let's not just play it safe and dodge the obstacles of life.
But may we jump in where the Spirit leads! May we allow Him to guide and council us into the messes we were purposed to bring love, deliverance and joy through.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit...Ephesians 1:13 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)