Proverbs 3:18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.
Years ago, I planted an apple tree that took a long time to produce fruit. In the fall of one year, I said to the tree, “If you do not produce any fruit next season I will cut you down and will plant a better variety.” Luke 13:7 Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ This was how I felt and I was serious about what I said, and what I would be planting in its sted.
Like the gardener in the parable, I gave the tree another chance. Luke 13:8 The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. The following spring there were a few apple blossoms as in the years previous. I did not see much happening until one day there was one apple doing its best to grow. I said, “Ah-ha look at you!” The tree produced one apple so I kept my end of the bargain and did not cut it down.
From the following year until this day, this particular apple tree has been a super producer of the finest apples. It produces so much fruit that I have to thin out the apples at different stages of growth at least three times a season to get the best big healthy apples by the season’s end. From one apple to an overabundance in productivity, this tree has proven its worth. It is doing what God created the tree to do. This apple tree is full of life, and it gives and gives. Prov. 3:18a She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her.
We who are in Christ should be thankful that the Lord has the patience with us to bring us to a place where we become producers of blessing in and for the kingdom of God. Our Lord trims the evergrowing branches of our life’s expression of who we are in Christ so that we produce much fruit. John 15:5 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.
I am sure there are times in our life when we only bring forth something like one apple in comparison to our potential. However, God knows our full ability in Him and He carries us and brings us into the fulness of His grace so that we too become super producers of blessing. He set us on the rock of our salvation so that we will shine forth the Lord’s goodness and offer the love this world so desperately needs. God helps us mature in His ability to produce kingdom fruit within us. John 15:16a You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.
I’m not sure, but maybe God comes to us once in a while and says, “Ah-ha, look at the righteous fruit developing in your life. I will cultivate that to bring even more fruit.” This is an eternal journey we are on and there will be constant pruning and trimming to get rid of anything that can hinder the growth of God’s righteousness within us. This will take place in our lives until the day we go home to be with our Saviour. We just have to let the Lord take out of us what is useless and unproductive to God and His kingdom. We just have to keep our hearts open to our Heavenly Father’s ah-ha moments in our lives and enjoy the victory of that blessing. Amen!