Plants flourish under the right conditions, and the same is true for love. God provides the perfect environment for the fruit of His Spirit to grow unhindered when I open my heart to His ways and stop trying to do what only He can.
Proper light is essential for growth. If I insist on the spotlight, love will shrink and die in the glare of my selfishness. If I hide in a cave, it will whither and die in the darkness.
Knowing the right amount of moisture to keep a plant healthy is important. God is the Master Gardener and knows that His Word is water when it comes to growing His love. I can drown His love in license or allow it to dry up in the law, but it’s best to let His Holy Spirit guide me through the water so I get the nourishment I need.
Warmth brings life out of the ground and love out of the heart. The frost of isolation kills any chance of love making it to the surface, and fiery lust leaves only ashes in its wake. Christ’s precious love cools lust and warms loneliness leaving the perfect temperature for God’s love to yield a bountiful crop.
Galatians 5:22-23 is a familiar verse that many have memorized. Love is the fruit of the Spirit, and it leads my heart to a bountiful harvest when I let God do the gardening.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (NASB)
Bearing fruit is painful. Loving is painful. Growth is painful. Change is painful. All involve healing and growth, and that means pain. God’s powerful lesson this morning was that all healing involves hurt, but the hurt is worth the wellness that comes when I allow God’s love to take my heart in a new direction that pleases Him. A new direction isn’t possible without a new mindset and a change of heart. God made that painfully clear this morning as He did some therapy on my heart. The signs at the gym say, “No Pain, No Gain,” and nothing hurts more than the physical therapy necessary for proper healing. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the same applies to my heart.