Finding the Fruit in Every Season
I sat down on the deck, soaking up this beautiful summer day with a freshly picked, rather large bowl of blueberries. My body let out a sigh, as I took in the moment of simplicity and enjoyment of eating this seasonal fruit. One of my first thoughts was, “I have already missed the strawberry season, I can not miss the blueberry season!” I was determined to get out to buy some flats of berries to enjoy, before the season quickly passed. As I reclined in my chair I began to think about seasons.
The pace of life has been unusually busy this spring, as we have renovated a house for our daughter and son-in-law to call home. It has turned into a beautiful and inviting space for them to make memories as they raise our first grandchild, who arrives any day now.
In this season, that has not afforded much time for rest, I thought about our society’s busy pace of life, and how we can so often miss enjoying the ‘fruit of the season’. We are either to busy to stop, or we don’t even recognize the fruit that is there in its abundance, because our focus is distracted with the cares of daily life.
I pondered on the verse in Jeremiah 17:7-8 that says,
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
NEVER FAILS to bear fruit! There is always some sort of fruit to enjoy when we are living connected to the vine of Jesus Christ.
I was reminded of a moment I had on a Sunday afternoon sometime last year, after I had preached a message that morning. Over the years of ministry, I have been familiar with critiquing how things went after something like a special event. The team would have a meeting to go over, what went well, what could we change, and what never to do again. Those moments are important, helpful and useful for growth, but this Sunday afternoon I was given a new perspective that I will never forget.
There I was having my own meeting, with me, myself and I, about what went well, what could I have changed, and what should I never do again. I was so hung up on a point in my sermon that I wished I had communicated better. While being so dissatisfied with what actually came out of my mouth as opposed to what was written in my sermon notes, I had this picture flash through my mind. It was like a snapshot of Jesus eating a large piece of fruit, and I heard the words, “You can continue to sit there critiquing yourself, or you can enjoy the fruit with Me that resulted from the message.” I was so surprised by what I had just seen that I chuckled to myself, sat back and thanked God for the fruit that was produced through the releasing of His Word, and I let the self-disappointment go.
That symbolic snapshot picture I had, caused me to begin to think in new ways. I had never before thought about what was done with all the fruit that we bear as we live abiding and connected to the Father. I never imagined that God could sit, enjoying the fruit that He bore through our lives, like I would sit enjoying the diversity of flavors in our summer fruits. Yet fruit IS to enjoy, in all its colors and juiciness. Fruit was not intended to be left on the branch to rot. We are invited to enjoy the fruit of our lives in His presence with thankfulness and joy.
Take time today to sit and reflect upon the fruit that has been an outworking of the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. Thank Him for it. Give Him praise for it. Enjoy it with Him! It just may shift your focus in the right direction.
Don’t miss finding it while searching for something ‘grand’ or loosing sight of it in the midst of your self-disappointment. It can be the fruit of helping someone with their groceries, or showing patience to another driver. The fruit can look like time spent with a friend in need, or the giving of your finances. Maybe your words inspired life for someone. Thank Him for producing this fruit in your life, and keep your eyes open to be thankful for what is produced in the season of your tomorrow.