Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Gal. 5:25)

SPRING IS AROUND the corner. Depending on where you live, it may have already arrived. Or you may live in the North where the ground is still covered with snow and spring seems far off. The groundhog must have seen his shadow and six more weeks of winter aren’t up yet.

Avid gardeners planted seeds weeks ago and are eagerly waiting for the last frost to plant the tender seedlings outdoors. Some, like me, will foolishly rush the season only to lose the plants they’ve been nurturing.

Ever since I was a youngster, I’ve been impatient for the arrival of spring. I remember coming home from school with my coat slung over my shoulder and my mother scolding me. “You’ll catch a cold,” she’d say. She was usually right.

The temptation to rush the seasons carries over into my Christian walk. I want to see the fruit of the Spirit fully developed in my life now. I try really hard to make it happen. But just as my plants can’t grunt and groan to speed up the growth process, I need to learn the secret of abiding in Him. I need to make a conscious effort not to run ahead of Him but to live in Him and keep in step with Him. The result will be fruit that matures according to His perfect timing.

Examine your own life and identify the fruit of His Spirit ripening in your life.

Marlene Bagnull will celebrate fifty-two years of marriage in November with her husband, Paul. They have three grown children and three grandchildren.