Some think it’s easy, but I didn’t. I’d watched my grandfather do it for too many years.
Growing a garden is relaxing but also taxing. Breaking up a piece of unplowed ground with a tiller emits sweat, filthiness, and if I’m not cautious a few words better left unsaid. Rows must be drawn off, fertilizer added, and seed planted. Plants must be weeded and watered and sometimes sprayed with poison. Then the fruit must be harvested and canned or placed in the freezer. All time consuming endeavors. While fresh fruit is delicious, it’s the product of demanding work.
The fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control should characterize my life but getting it to dangle from my branches isn’t necessarily easy. Paul-languishing in a Roman prison, knew this too. “For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ” (Philippians 1:13 NLT).
God is the one producing fruit in my life, and the ways he does it often redefine rational. He threw Paul in prison-a seemingly senseless act if he wanted Paul to spread the gospel throughout the known world. But then what better place? He witnessed to all the Roman soldiers comprising the palace guard and encouraged persecuted Christians as well.
It may appear God goes about things the hard way to get fruit. After all, I could drive to the local Farmer’s Market and skip the gardening. But it’s not as satisfying. God knows the best methods to produce the finest fruit in my life. Even though I’m tempted to give him input, I’m learning to trust him instead of trying to manipulate situations.
When it appears God is going about fruit producing the hard way, trust his judgment. Difficulties always make our testimony more effective.
Prayer: Almighty and Everliving God, enable us to be the vessel through which You produce fruit according to Your plan.