Psalm 1:3b (NLT)
'Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.'
Within our garden stand three apple trees and a pear tree. How many years they have stood there I don’t know. Moving in during the summer we watched as all the trees produced fruit ahead of a bumper harvest. That is in fact all we did - we watched. These trees were programmed year in, year out to produce fruit, fruit from which we and not they benefited. We were overwhelmed and from September through November were giving away bags of fruit to others.
Fruit is seasonal and fruit trees go through a dormant season when all appears dead. No leaves, no fruit, just a stark outline in a winter landscape. During the years walking with Katey and her MS, and more especially the six years following Katey’s death, I felt as if I was in a dormant state. Unsuccessful in securing consistent employment, frustrated with my lack of re-engagement with the Christian ministry I had given up for my caring responsibilities. I felt abandoned and saw no fruit from any of my endeavours. My prayers apparently fell upon divine deafness. If I had been angry and frustrated walking through the years with Katey, now I felt angry and useless from a completely different perspective.
As ever I was difficult to manage, both for myself and for others. A few stayed close by, others chose to put distance between us. However, I continued to cultivate my life as a contemplative. I chose to pursue God by fixing my gaze upon him and refusing to allow my own anxiety and anger to distract me. In time I discovered that gazing upon God was in fact doing so much more than my active platform ministry had ever achieved. That what some perceived as ‘wasting time with God’ was in fact the very foundation from which the fruitful life sprang.
I saw that my winter was merely a period to wait and to watch and that without effort I would prove fruitful once God chose to bring me into leaf and bud once again.
QUESTION: Do you find yourself frustrated at the apparent barrenness of your Christian life and experience?
PRAYER: Loving Father, hold me close to you that I may drink from the waters of life and bear fruit at your appointed time.