Written by Dave Lenehan
“I can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do now that we’ve lost this one.” Those were the words of a woman living in the Houston, TX area after losing everything when her apartment complex was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. She had moved to Texas from New Orleans. Guess where she was in August of 2005? In the path of Hurricane Katrina, where she lost pretty much everything when her apartment there was destroyed. She said that the people of Houston helped Katrina survivors out so much that she decided to move there to really see what they were like. Now she’s ready to help those who helped her. Doesn’t that perspective boggle your mind?
A reporter was interviewing a man from Kentucky who was driving a boat around the Houston area, seeking to help anyone who needed rescuing. He told the reporter that God told him to go to Houston to help because, “there was a time when we loved people and used things and now it seems like we love things and use people.” He wanted to show others that no matter who they are, they are loved, they are cared for by complete strangers.
The football team at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, my original home town, gave up practices and game prep time to load up their training ship the T.S. Kennedy with pallets of supplies to ship down to Houston. They gave things up because others needed them more than they needed football.
We’re all probably familiar with the fruit of the Spirit noted in Galatians 5:22-25
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. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (NIV)
We are certainly called to practice these things, to live them out. But have you ever considered wearing the fruit of the Spirit? What I mean is that those characteristics Paul maps out in Galatians are more than just actions. They are to become who we are. The more we become like Jesus, the more we put on or wear that fruit. Isaiah talks about being “…clothed with garments of salvation and (being) arrayed in a robe of his righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10, NIV) Yes, our faith in Jesus is definitely action. But it’s more than that. It is uniquely woven into the very fabric of who we are.
Only a handful of the nearly 15,000 of us on campus here at Liberty University may go on an LU Send trip to help hurricane victims in Texas or Florida or the islands. But ALL of us can certainly wear the fruit of the Spirit wherever we are and with whomever we interact. Like the woman who lost her home for the second time or the man driving the boat, living out that fruit allows more of Jesus to clearly shine through us.