“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
Going against the flow. Pushing like a seed against the dirt. Breaking through the cocoon. Bursting from the womb. Doing what is right when others think it seems so wrong. As I was at a local overnight lock-in for teens, I found this wall of tribute to a young man who died at the age of 16. Not sure if it was cancer, but it seemed as though he played against the current and left behind some fruitfulness. As I was reading the Psalm he had written before he died, part of it just caught me and swept me away for a moment. “As I go against the flow, He makes me stronger”, those words just drenched me the moment I read them. I wish I had taken the time to take a picture of the whole psalm written by this teenager, but the glare from the lights made it difficult. Yet, I think I only needed that small part for his presence in this world to make a difference in me.
How many times could we be making a difference? How many instances arise for us to go against the current? Is it not in those moments of us rising against the grain that we make the most “gainage” of ground? In our brief bursts of willingness to stand our ground we gain confidence and better control over our situations. It is in those times God rewards us for listening and being obedient to His will even when the world thinks we are crazy. Instead of running towards these opportunities, why do we run in the opposite direction as fast as we can? We need to come to an agreement with our spirits that we will go the distance for God no matter what the world thinks about it.
More random acts of kindness. Going out of our way to help. Volunteering our time instead of watching television. Buying lunch for a friend who really needs a few hours away. Lending a ear to someone who just needs somebody to listen. Giving grace not because we HAVE to, but because we want to. Giving to the local pantry. Buying new clothes just to donate to a needy person. I could go on, but we all know what our opportunities are. Every day there is an moment in time where we could sacrifice something to be of help to another. Love one another as I have loved you…sound familiar?
When we step into the realm of being a Christian, we are stepping in territory which is uncharted at times. We never know how we will be received. We often struggle with going against the flow of society for awhile, but the more we push through, the stronger we become. What once seemed difficult now seems simple. The water which rose to our knees now is at our chest but still easy to walk through. Why? Because He gives us the strength to push through and find our victory through overcoming the challenges. Are you walking in the river? Are you trying to go upstream and be different than the rest? Are you leaving wakes of goodness and mercy? Are you stirring the whirlpools so they become your help and not your hindrance?
Or……perhaps…..you are just going with the flow……