The Cultivation of Willingness

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Iris the Orchid

An orchid named Iris. 


She was a very special plant given to me by a very special friend. I’d never had an orchid before, but I did a little research and decided to give her a go. I discovered that this variety liked heat and humidity, so I put her on my Taiwan balcony beside the washer and dryer. It was definitely warm enough and the machines helped add mugginess to Taichung’s already tropical environment. 


Iris went nuts. She put out several new leaves immediately and was never without at least ten blossoms. I once counted 23 blooms on her little stems. Something about living on the laundry balcony suited her.


Needless to say, I haven’t attempted on orchid here in West Texas. Especially since Lubbock made the listing of the top 100 cities with the lowest average humidity. I think that an orchid by any name would probably be called “Dead” here.


You see, some things only grow in specific conditions. 


Take spiritual fruit, for instance. 


They won’t grow in your emotions, nor in your thought life. The conditions of selfishness and worry aren’t conducive for them to thrive. 


No, because love, peace and joy are spiritual fruit, they can only bud within your spirit, where the Living Spirit of God resides. 


Granted, most of the fruits of the Spirit seem like they should come with an emotion. Love and joy particularly seem to be something that we feel. 


But selfless Spirit-filled Love can only sprout within the depth of our spirit before its tendrils reach to our emotions. And Joy that transcends situations can never survive in a thought-life centered on outer circumstances. 


So how can we tell the difference? 


By willing our emotions and thoughts second place to the place of Truth within us. By daily turning our minds and feelings over to Him in prayer. Willingness and faith are key to spiritual growth. 


I’m praying for your spiritual hothouse today. May the Father cultivate fruit that lasts in the depth of your soul (John 15:16).