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)
I’ve been doing it all wrong. Not the praying; I think I’ve gotten that right, but the mindset…and not the mindset associated with my personal prayer challenge. I’ve begun the last full week of daily sacrificial prayer for my husband. Today’s prayer seeks assurance that the fruit of the Spirit would continually be exhibited throughout his life. Not a difficult prayer for my beloved, but in considering this prayer and scripture, I learned something. Today’s personal revelation is that I’ve been doing it all wrong.
I am the eternal optimist. When life gives me lemons, I make lemonade…and for all I’ve been trying to learn in my walk, I’ve been headed in the wrong direction. We shouldn’t be making lemonade.
Beautiful words came from an ugly place. When Paul wrote the people of Galatia, in letters in which the fruit of the Spirit are explained, they were in deep dip. He was admonishing them in great anger for focusing on the wrong things, chiefly that their salvation came from obedience to Mosaic Law rather than through the Gift of Grace. All wrong.
To make lemonade, you take sour lemons, add sugar and water to end up with something sweet. It works, but it’s the right answer to the wrong question. We shouldn’t be making lemonade—we should be making fruit salad. Lemonade requires that you work with what you’ve got, on your own, without Grace. It’s a skill to “fake it ‘til you make it.” But what about Faith?
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said that “Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.” That’s something entirely different than decorating and planning your life on the step you can see. Faith is knows that you are never alone…that you will never ever have to just get by.
That’s the lesson, and the blessing, and the end of this story. Except to say that once again I am reminded of the abundance in my life. I am reminded that this revelation was always there, waiting for me to be ready and open to receive it. Finally, I am reminded that God is Good.
Today’s Feast: Not Your Average Lemonade
Backstory~I don’t hate lemonade, in fact, I love it. This summer, I happened upon this rather unusual method for making lemonade (I think it’s French) and I am in love. You will be too. Have it with some fruit salad…
I C water
1 C sugar (I use demerara)
3-4 C cold water
Dash of Angostura bitters
Pour the water and sugar into a saucepan to make simple syrup. Before placing on the heat, rinse and carefully zest the lemons, adding all the zest to the pot. Simmer about 2-3 minutes, until all the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool, straining off the zest.
Juice lemons to get a yield of at least 1 C lemon juice (more is good, depending upon your tolerance for tart…I like it to zing). Mix the lemon juice, the strained syrup, a dash of bitters, adding cold water to taste. Finish with lemon slices and plenty of ice.