Retirement days never get boring here in the gray zone—always a new problem, pain, or predicament to test your patience.
Patience. Did I say “patience”? If you haven’t pulled that “fruit of the Spirit” out of your treasured promise box lately, you might want to take it off the shelf and dust it before you graduate to the gray zone. Just saying …
Speaking of patience—I’ve needed a full bushel of that “fruit” in the past few weeks. And I am grateful for the promise in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (NLT).
Promises. I’ve heard many women praying for patience in every area of their lives, including marriage, children, job, friendships, and more. And I’ve been tempted to ask them, “Do you know that patience is a fruit of the Spirit?”
That’s a bold statement, huh? Why would I be so rude? Well, my kids say that I haven’t been watching my “filter” lately. But I guess that’s a topic for another blog post.
Bottom line—I get a little excited about the biblical principles I’m learning. Have you noticed?
Words That Change Everything. Galatians 5:22-23 promises that if the Spirit of Christ lives in us, He will produce patience and every other spiritual fruit you need, like love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I’ve needed this promise of patience as I dealt with an annoying body rash. Without going into all the personal detail, I can say that my itchy rash has forced me to examine myself and to apply God’s promises to my problems.
- Recognize. First of all, you can’t ignore a rash. You may try to ignore it, but some rashes just don’t go away without medication.I found the same truth about some annoying issues in marriage or any relationship. You must admit you have a problem before you can deal with it. And some itchy relational problems will never be solved unless the root of the problem is treated.
- Acknowledge. I also came to the realization that my home remedies and over-the-counter products did not relieve the rash. So, I had to seek professional help for a prescription.I discovered the same remedy applies to relational issues. Sometimes you do all you know to do, and the problem remains. I’m thankful that I can turn to the Great Physician for spiritual help.
- Submit. I confess, I don’t like to focus on this concept. And I don’t like to visit my doctor either. But I’ve learned that sometimes problems become too complicated for me, and I need a professional.At times, God has given me direction, and I failed to follow through. I started out strong, but I became weary in the battle and abandoned the idea of accomplishing it.
- Heal. With the rash, healing came after following my doctor’s advice with the prescribed medication. I also learned how to avoid future rashes.In relationships, healing comes as we allow God to guide us through a reconciliation process. But we must also remember to guard against repeating those mistakes.
Points. I hope my R. A. S. H. tips help you avoid some of the pitfalls in the gray zone of your life.
- Recognize you have a problem.
- Acknowledge your need for help.
- Submit to the Great Physician’s guidance.
- Heal, as you take the steps needed for restoration and reconciliation.
As I read Radner’s book, I recalled watching her on Saturday Night Live in the late 1970s. I’ve even quoted her many times as problems emerged in my own life. Again, in the gray zone, I continue to confess, “It’s always something!”
GrayZone Q & A: Do you have any tips that might help others avoid some of the pitfalls of the gray zones of their lives?