I had never eaten a plum that I have personally picked fresh from a tree until this week. Below is the story of that rather enlightening day…
In order to get the beautifully ripe-red fruit from the tree and into my mouth, i was told the following (very specific and scientifically profound) instructions:
“…just give the tree a good shake.”
So, with the anticipated taste of a plum on my lips, I walked outside and gave the tree a good shake.
thump, thump, thump.
It was that simply. I shook the tree and it rained down dozens of beautifully ready to eat plums (luckily, I had enough brain waves working to stand in a place that the plums wouldn’t fall on my head).
I looked up, laughing a little, and saw that there was one very beautiful piece of fruit still on the tree so, I shook it some more.
Hmm, I thought, I guess I will have to get this one with a stick. So, I grabbed a stick and poked away at the plum until it fell down. The tree admitted defeat and I decided to enjoy my victory by biting down into the fruits of my labor…
…which, i promptly spit out…it wasn’t ripe!
As I got the bad taste of un-ripened fruit out of my mouth by biting into another one, I started thinking about the lessons that can be taken from this experience.
- First, fruit is meant to be grown on a tree. And much like trees, we are meant to produce fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace… This fruit can then be given to provide nourishment for others around us.
- Fruit is ultimately meant to spread more life. I have been told many times: it takes death to produce more life. Fruit has to die so the seed can be taken, buried, and allowed to grow again. This fruit cannot spread life unless it is first removed from its life source.
- Sometimes, the tree has fruit that is ripe enough to come off the tree, but it just needs a little shaking. The Lord does this in our lives as well.
- Other times, the tree has fruit that looks ripe and ready to offer nourishment and life to others, but looks are deceiving and it’s not until the nourishment is tasted that we realize that fruition was not met yet.
“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
We are all called to be trees that produce the fruit of the Spirit. Sometimes, He allows shaking that we would be a part of spreading His eternal life. Other times, He still has us growing and allowing our fruit to get ready and ripe before it is used to encourage and nourish others.
We are all called to produce. We are all called to share True Life with those around us. And, most importantly, we are called to let Him do that work for us. He is the Life Giver, the only One from Whom comes the only Life worth living for…
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5