Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)  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!

Have you ever tried to polish a hard object, like a stone? I’m from Michigan and the Petoskey is our state stone. On vacations, I remember my dad slowing down and looking carefully while he walked just to find one or two. They didn’t look like much when he brought them home, but when he began to polish them, little by little the fine details of the fossilized stone revealed themselves. Details set in place long ago.

My dad is in heaven now, but I still have one of those polished stones in my jewelry box. A place where I keep things that are precious to me. It’s a reminder of how Dad’s hands worked gently to reveal something beautiful. Just the right pressure. Just the right grit. Just the right purpose.

When we accept Jesus, by faith, as our Lord and Savior we each receive the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:2, 14 & John 14:15-17, 26). He guides us, yes, but His job is to smooth our rough edges and bring out those details He cares about most, those that reflect the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29). That’s hard work. No, it’s heart work and the Holy Spirit does it in you. Our heavenly Father, through the Holy Spirit, carries the load and we reap the benefit so that others may also benefit.

I like to call it a refining or polishing process because we know that God started with something precious to Him in the first place. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are God’s masterpiece, created as new in Christ. Psalm 139:13-14 says God formed each one of us and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, each detail placed by the hands of God. So, while God started with something good, because of man’s fall in the garden, we are all born with a sin nature. This makes the refining process necessary, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

The polishing process reveals the Fruits of the Spirit and they change us. Save Devine intervention, good things usually take time. That’s good because we couldn’t handle all of God all at once (Isaiah 55:8-9). I believe that there is so much to learn in the refining process that it just won’t be skipped and can’t be hurried. But don’t worry about that, because through Christ, all things are possible (Matt 19:26).

Here’s the thing, the faith that opened your heart in the first place, allows the Holy Spirit to use just the right pressure and just the right experience to produce just the right fruit. The fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are not edible, but eternal. I think it could be said that once that fruit is rooted in your heart, it reproduces so that you can gift it to others at just the right time.

Patience, friend, it will happen.

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It’s October so this must be time for 31 Days of Five Minute Friday Free-Writes. The event is hosted by Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Fridays. We write daily for five minutes, or maybe a bit longer. The point is to write. Kate provides writers with a one-word writing prompt each day. Today the prompt is START.