My daughter and I were enjoying the crisp pool water on a hot summer day. In this peaceful moment in my backyard, I was working through some things with the Lord asking Him why I felt so dry. Why didn’t I feel like I was producing fruit? I was comparing myself to others at my church. He answered me as I looked up at my favorite tree in the yard, the plum tree which had many juicy, purple plums ready to be picked and enjoyed. I looked over at my peach trees and there was fruit, but it was hard and green. Not quite ready.
I’ve been waiting all year for these plums, anticipating that special moment when I bite into the first flavorful plum that melts in my mouth. In one minute, my mind flashed to the care I put into the trees all year long. It is worth the hard work for just a few sweet weeks of fruit they produce. Eventually the leaves fall off and the tree gets thoroughly checked for bugs and damaged branches. The leaves and weeds get raked and pulled from under the tree. Then the pruning begins. The dead and unnecessary branches, the suckers all get cut off. The tree then gets sprayed with a mixture of water, olive oil and dish soap to prevent bugs from forming a home. The tree also gets a good dose of fish emulsion in the soil.
Spring is amazing because what essentially looked like a dead tree in the fall and winter months turns into a luscious green tree! The pruning made room for new growth. The tree again needs to be examined for disease or bugs that may have tried to find a home. Late spring, the flower buds grow on the tree and the bees quickly go to work! It is so nice to see the growth and potential fruit on this tree. I can hear the whisper of the Lord, “That’s how I feel about you!” Then He gave me this verse:
Galatians 6:4-5 MSG “Make careful exploration
of who you are and the work you have been given,
and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed
with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others.
Each of you must take responsibility for doing the
creative best you can with your own life.”
The days get longer and hotter, and the tree needs lots of water. The green fruit starts to get bigger with each passing day. The plump fruit then starts to turn red, and slowly purple.
Galatians 6:8 MSG “But the one who plants in
response to God, letting God’s spirit do the growth
work in him harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”
Caring for and watching the tree in its many seasons throughout the year symbolized how we are cared for and loved all year. Seeing the new growth and the flower buds in the spring is such a delight, which represents how He takes pleasure in us! When we let our Papa shed His tender, loving care on us, the beautiful fruit is easily formed. We just have to trust that He is the Master Gardener in our lives. Could that tree produce fruit without my help? Yes, but would that fruit be good fruit? Maybe, but not the greatest.
Galatians 6:9-10 MSG “So let’s not allow ourselves
to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will
harvest a good crop if we don’t give up or quit.”
At that moment I realized something, I might feel like that dry, dead-looking tree at the moment, but Jesus is watching over me giving me His tender loving care through each and every season. My Father in heaven is working in and through me, pruning and making room for my new growth. Redefining who I am. Good fruit takes work all year long.
Galatians 6:16 MSG. “It’s what God is doing and He
is creating something totally new, a free life!”