Oak Trees & Squash

Read: Galatians 5:13-26

Before James Garfield became President of the United States, he was principal of Hiram College in Ohio.  A father once asked him if a particular course of study could be simplified so that his son could go through by a shorter route.  “Certainly,” replied Garfield.  “But it all depends upon what you want to make of your boy.  When God wants to make an oak tree, he takes a hundred years.  When he wants to make a squash, he requires only two summers.”

In Galatians 5 one of the fruits of the Spirit is patience and forbearance.  As Garfield mentioned to the father in the story above, patience often produces a result that we rarely get when we try to force our own desires in front of the Lord’s desire.   There is a reason our parents always told us that patience is a virtue.  We live in a world that has nearly forgotten what patience is all about.  With immediate access to almost anything via our smartphones we shouldn’t lose our ability to “wait upon the Lord” in some things that truly need to be waited upon.  

This past year has reminded me again that the Lord will lead us in every area of life.  We just have to be willing to be led and sometimes wait on that leading or direction to come in God’s perfect timing.  May all of us learn to practice this virtuous fruit of patience in our lives.  If we wait we may just be amazed at what the Lord had seen coming all along.  Remember the example of the Oak Tree and the Squash.

Make It Personal: What is it in your life right now that requires patience?  Remember what Isaiah 40:31 says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes