By Debra Whittington
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
During my morning walks I pause to check out the apple and pear trees.
There is nothing like fresh fruit and I am getting anxious to sink my teeth into those pears and apples. I know I will have to wait almost a month before the apples are ready, but it won’t be long until we are eating fresh pears.
Last year we didn’t have any fruit. The few apples and pears that were on the tree didn’t ripen properly and weren’t fit to eat. Only the goats benefited from them. This year is a different story as the apple tree is loaded with fruit. From early spring when I noticed the first green leaves on the tree I watched its progress. I enjoyed the beauty of the blossoms of spring hoping this would be a good year for fruit.
I remember when I first noticed the tiny fruit left behind after the blossoms were gone. Week after week I watched them grow and than along came a big wind that blew many of them off of the tree. I didn’t worry very much because there were still so many left.
Every day, I notice a few more apples on the ground that is far from being ripe. I gather some of them up as I walk and throw them over the fence to the goats. My little dog, Gracie, has even gotten in on the game and carries one apple in her mouth every morning. She drops it only after I notice her efforts and praise her for being so helpful. She seems very proud of herself.
Unless a big storm comes along there will be plenty of apples for fresh cobblers and other mouthwatering desserts.
I am growing impatient waiting for the fruit to ripen and yet I know it is better to not pick it too soon. Even as I sit here writing this column, I can look out the window and see apples on the tree.
I know the day is coming when we will have an abundant harvest and plenty to share with others.
While I was walking, I thought about how much our lives are like the fruit on the trees.
Like the pears and apples, there are many different types of fruit that our lives can bear. The writer of Galatians wrote about the many fruits of the spirit such as love, joy, peace, and so forth. Together they make a wonderful fruit salad that benefits everyone.
Even though most of our focus is on the fruit, we need to take a step back and look at its source.
Good fruit begins first with good soil and plenty of water for the tree to grow in. The source of fruit in our lives begins with our relationship with Jesus Christ. In John 15:1-2 and 4-5 Jesus told His disciples, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
It is interesting to watch fruit trees through the various seasons. It is also fascinating to watch people through the seasons of their lives. I enjoy watching people grow in their spiritual walk and seeing how much the fruit in their lives blesses others.
Just as different fruit trees ripen at different times, our lives aren’t always at the same place in our spiritual walk. For Christians who are young in the faith, we need to nurture and help them grow toward maturity.
For those skeptics and unbelievers, we need to plant seeds of the Word. We may not see the results as others may come along and water and eventually bring about the harvest.
Jesus said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16) It is up to us to be watching, waiting, and ready to take care of all the fruit produced that will bless others.