This is the final post of a three-part series on my reflections on growing in Christ:
1. You don’t get fruit if your roots aren’t healthy
2. Learning to Abide
3. This one: Finally (maybe) you get the fruit
A Different Perspective on Fruit
When I started this journey, I actually started with a focus on fruit. Fruit for me represented many things, but especially my desire to see fruit of my womb.
Now that has changed.
Don’t get me wrong, I still long and hope for children, even as which each passing year it becomes less and less likely. What has changed, however, is my perspective! I guess I saw fruit as the main end goal, or the start of a new chapter, whereas now I take pleasure in the whole journey.
Putting down roots, or abiding in Jesus, isn’t a means to an end – it is an ongoing adventure. Sometimes the fruit just grows, without you even being aware, and sometimes you still long for certain fruit to grow.
What Is In Season?
The Bible talks a lot about fruit. Psalm 1 is the only Psalm I have managed to memorize, and as a result I have meditated on it a lot. The blessed person is described as being like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season. Their leaves don’t wither, and whatever they do prospers. In season.
In season. It is easy to skip over these two words, but they were written for a reason. Even in this description of an individual who prospers in everything they do, the fruit only appears in the season it was designed for. Like Solomon kept saying in Ecclesiastes: there is a time for everything.
There is a time to be fruitful and a fallow time. I love strawberries and raspberries and peaches (let’s face it, I love all fruit) and I wish that they were readily available all year long. In fact, I once asked Santa for a peach for Christmas, back when it was almost impossible to get peaches in December! There is a season for all good things, and even if now we are used to getting what we want when we want it, these seasons have a purpose.
When We Abide
The other aspect of this psalm that we need to remember is how this individual is described as living: they avoided sin and evil and instead delighted on God’s law. They meditated on God’s law day and night. This is someone who is abiding in Christ.
It is the same message in John 15. Verse 5 reads “If you abide in me [Jesus], and I in you, you will bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
Fruit That Is Always In Season
Now there is some fruit that I don’t think is supposed to appear only in certain seasons, and that is the fruit of the spirit. Galatians 5 sums these up, and it is not an easy list!
Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Gentleness and Self-Control.
I will be honest, I still exhibit more of my sinful nature than I would like, but as I reflect back on my journey of putting down deeper roots and abiding in Christ, I can also see more evidence of the fruit of the spirit.
During the last 18 months, three stand out in particular: joy, peace and patience or forbearance. Despite some of the real challenges of this season, I have experienced some deep joy and inner peace that I know comes from God. I feel this at the same time as deep sorrow and missing my family who I haven’t seen since Christmas 2019. This joy and peace are the fruit of the spirit.
Experiencing patience is a strange one for me, as I am naturally an incredibly impatient person! I liked the expansion of the meaning of patience in the Amplified Version which says, “not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting.” I have no choice about waiting to get pregnant – it is not something I can rush or make happen, but I can choose daily how I wait. This is something I hope I do well, at least most of the time! Trust me though, that is not from my own strength, but is it the fruit of the spirit!
3 Steps To Abide - Jars of Clay · January 7, 2022 at 7:57 pm
[…] This is the second of a three part series on my reflections on growing in Christ:1. You don’t get fruit if your roots aren’t healthy 2. This one – Learning to Abide3. Finally (maybe) you get the fruit […]