This week, I've asked you, the readers of this study blog, to contribute! I was re-reading the passage concerning the fruits of the Spirit, and wanted to include all of you.
I'm so grateful for each and every one of you. You encourage and inspire me, and I'm so happy with the responses I received!
Here is the first in our series, from our dear friend "Katie Isabella."
Once upon a time when I was struggling to get to sleep after a 16 hour shift, I was saying my prayers. I ended them with the as-always plea that He, The Lord, might use me in any way He wished. I deeply and sincerely wanted to serve, and I wanted to do things for others that might lead them to The Lord.
I laid there at the end of my prayers and asked yet again that I be used to serve Him. And this next statement is completely and unerringly accurate. I “heard” the words “Mercy and Compassion”. I do not know to this second if it was aloud that I heard it or if it was heard in my head. The voice was sexless, neither male nor female neither loud nor soft. Perfect pitch. Those were the only words I “heard”. Mercy and Compassion.
I shot straight up in bed and said aloud “Mercy and compassion?? I HAVE mercy and compassion”! To the second I sit here typing this I still cannot believe I rose up to a sitting position and disputed The Lord. I laid back down quickly in the dark of the night and pondered what I had done and why He had told me those two things. I told myself again that I had mercy and compassion. How could He say otherwise? This was in 2004. I told my supervisor the next night as he is a strong Christian. The upshot of what he said was, then that was what I needed no matter what I thought otherwise. I continued to tell this happening and I continued to ponder it and why when I thought I had them.
Fellow bloggers who may read this; in January 2012 I discovered what it is to have real, genuine God fearing and God loving mercy and compassion. No, I did NOT have them the way The Lord meant me to! Oh,but then, in 2012, I learned it deep into my flesh and bones and heart and brain. I have NO doubt since then how much I lacked those two qualities when The Lord told me I needed those two gifts in order to serve Him. But I gained them through the years following till this second in time that I write of it, with much pleading to The Lord, deeply praying many times in the day and night for the strength that was needed to care for my son who suffered terribly. This trial for my son and for me continued for four years. I have relied on The Lord for strength, and He upheld me those years despite that I had a heart anomaly that could have killed me suddenly. The Lord let me get through everything until I myself could be helped.
I have been steadfast in my true gratitude for Him allowing me to grow and be of service. I try to let my new found gifts serve others that I come across now as well as my family. And I pray with through and through gratitude for His chastening and for helping me through the fiery furnace as I learned and served.