Devotion – Seasons of Fruit
April 18, 2008 Tj Wierenga
Finally, enter Spring! Blowing in with wind and rain – at least in the forecast – and oftentimes in Montana, late, wet snow… bulbs are blooming, forsythia bushes glowing yellow… and even the fruit trees are starting to shake off the winter gloomies.
We’ve lived in our house for over a year now. In my backyard is a peach tree. Of course, this isn’t exactly peach tree country… but the neighbor assures me that my tree has, in fact, produced at least one harvest of fruit over the years. I admit that I miss my Texas peaches… you just can’t buy that tree-ripened sweet, juicy flavor at the grocery store. Only the Master Gardener can grow fruit like that – artificial hydroponic versions just don’t cut it.
In the book of John, Jesus tells us “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a (wo)man remains in Me and I in her, she will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing… If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.” John 15:5,7-9
What fruit is He talking about? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” according to Galatians 5:22. I don’t know about you all, but I need that fruit in my life. Being the hand that rocks the cradle, changes countless diapers, dresses little bodies, prepares food and doles it out, soothes owies and settles little ones down to sleep, cleans, straightens, sweeps, vacuums, does laundry and dishes, helps with crafts, changes still more diapers, bathes slippery squealing children, mops, grocery shops and be-bops until I’m ready to drop!
What normal mom doesn’t need some patience, kindness, gentleness, etc? Forget about Wheaties for breakfast – we need a big bowl of Holy-Spirit-fortified cereal every day!
This spring season reminds me of our seasons in life – how the hours may sometimes lay like a late spring snow, but the seasons are flying by… pregnancy, infanthood, crawlers, toddlers then turbo toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, elementary then middle school then high school then beyond…
“Be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2. Doesn’t this sound like a good job description for being a mother? Just as God shepherds our hearts as our loving Father, so are we to shepherd our own children. He equips us to do this work He has given us with His fruit. Our children learn also by example and someday those little sprouts will, we pray, find their own life in His vine.
“Blessed is the (wo)man (whose) delight is in the law of the Lord… (s)he is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever (s)he does prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
Lord, we thank You for our life in You… for the love and joy you have in us and for Your generosity to give us the fruit we need to feed our families both physically and spiritually. Be with us as we grow through these seasons of life. In Your Son’s name we pray, Amen.