Fruit Grows …..

   Fruit…it grows in crazy places…like in a briar filled cove. That is where I find some of my favorite fruits. Blackberries and dewberries. Wild ones. I didn’t plant them. God did. People have said many times I should cut them down..but I love them. Wild cherries…they are tiny…very difficult to gather enough of to do any real thing with..but so sweet and wonderful is the taste of that tiny drop of goodness. These are gifts from God. Wonderful gifts from God. But…they take effort to reach. Gifts that require effort. The bounty received after I make the effort is just glorious…but I labor and sweat for that bounty….and so is the journey to spiritual fruit.
   I deal with the briars…my emotions…my sins…my doubts..my wounds. I fight through them…and let me tell you…I get scraped up. I get hurt. I get cut. I am left bleeding sometimes. Alot of the time. And still I am in the midst of the thicket…tied up in vines…and still no fruit.
   Sometimes…as I fight through the tangled bramble I find I am stuck..trapped…unable to continue down that path and must, instead, change directions. It isn’t always easy. Those turns and twists are painful. I just fought halfway down a path before I saw I couldn’t continue. I got cut up. I was covered in sweat. Maybe a serpent or two met me along the way. And now…halfway through…I find it was the wrong way. I feel tired. I feel frustrated. But I turn, and begin the new journey…if a little less enthusiastically.
   And then it happens. I see the first piece of fruit. The first jewel glistening in the sun…ripe and just waiting for the pickin. What is it? I managed to forgive someone I fought with. I managed not to tell my friend when my husband was unkind. I spoke softly to the rude teller at the bank. I was kind to my husband. I was kind to my kids. I was nice to the neighbor kids. I made it! Savoring the fruit of the moment is sweet. And yes..I am bleeding. It took a great effort…but the sweetness of the moment..the juicy goodness of the fruit….it is just amazing.
   I do not find that fruit as much as I want. I recognize my weakness. How much grace I truly need!
   Father..in your goodness you forgive me. I need that help. I need that more than anyone else I know. Thank you for mercy….

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