Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Trusting in the Gardener

About three years ago, I started growing a pineapple and a lemon tree. We live in an area of Texas that doesn't necessarily have the best climate to grow tropical fruit. So, in order to create an environment where fruit could develop, I had to take very special care of these plants.   
 

I thought about my little plants as I was reading the book of John. Jesus said,
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." John 15:1-2
Both of my little tropical plants ended up doing very well because I cared for them and gave them what they needed to flourish. Much in the same way, in order for us to flourish, grow, and produce spiritual fruit, Jesus says we must remain with Him.
"No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." John 15:9
The apostle Paul describes the fruit of the spirit that we produce in Galatians.
 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
During the summer, my plants would sit on my back porch where they had just the right amount of sun. But, in the winter, they had to come inside where it was warm and they were protected by the freezing temperatures. Days when we had severe thunderstorms, I had to move them out of the weather to make sure they were protected from the wind and hail.

When we put our complete trust and surrender our lives to Jesus, God cares for us so that we can produce spiritual fruit. When we are in Jesus, He waters us and shelters us from the storms of life. Putting all of our trust in Him ensures we receive just what we need in order to flourish.

I enjoyed having both plants, but I especially liked the lemon tree because every year it produced the most aromatic blooms and large lemons that my family could use to make treats. The first year we had the lemon tree, we were able to get eight lemons. I was so excited! The next year, it produced eleven which was enough to be able to share with a friend.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and have our hearts and minds on Christ, we are in Him and God our Father [our gardener] cares for us. At times, just as my tree and pineapple had to be pruned, God also prunes us. Our circumstances, trials, afflictions, sufferings, and God's discipline often "prunes" us so that we can learn to bear good fruit.
"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." Hebrews 12:11 NASB
My pineapple was quite a bit different than my lemon tree. It didn't grow as fast and produce near as much fruit.

Jesus is the VineI started the pineapple plant by cutting off the top of a pineapple I bought at a grocery store. I planted it in some soil, kept it watered, and it started to grow into a wonderful little plant. Only, it took much longer to grow into a mature plant than the lemon tree did. As the lemon tree produced blooms and lemons every year, the pineapple slowly grew; little by little.

As wonderful and loved as the lemon tree was, I can not tell you the joy and excitement we had when our pineapple grew and produced an actual pineapple fruit we could eat. It took 2 long years for the pineapple to produce a full grown pineapple fruit. It was a BIG DEAL when we finally got to harvest it and eat it!

The slow growth of the pineapple mirrored my own spiritual growth. It took me a long time to really surrender my life to Christ. It wasn't until the Holy Spirit really made me understand that I wasn't growing and producing the fruit I needed to, or that God expected me to, that I surrendered all of my life and trust to Him.

I thought about how much joy Jesus must receive when those of us that haven't been growing, finally turn over our complete trust to Him. We allow God to water and feed us by His Word and to "prune" us, so we grow and mature into the Christ followers God called us to be. When we begin to bear much fruit and produce so much that we are able to share with others, that's when OUR gardener smiles.

Are you producing the fruits of the Spirit?
Love, Joy, Peace, Gentleness, Kindness, Self-Control, Patience

Do you need to let go of something and give it to God so that He can care for you and feed you with His Word? Put your complete trust in the gardener of your heart and produce the fruit that can only come from your trust and faith in Jesus.

2 comments :

  1. Powerful post - thank you for your inspirational words.

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  2. Thank for stopping by and sharing a comment Mr. Cailes!

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