Ohhh friends I have missed you all!!
I’ve been neck deep in fondant these past two months madly prepping for two Craftsy classes I filmed a week ago, back to back. It was an intense two months, but OHH the Lord is so faithful and SO good! He truly covered me at every turn and gave my kids and my husband so much grace and so much patience for me…it was a God thing…BIG time!! I’m so thankful!
Now that I’m decompressing, I’ve been thinking of all the things I want to do with my kids! – things I’ve had to say no to these past two months but things I’m looking so forward to doing now! Like re-decorating bedrooms, taking long bike rides, organizing our craft bins, reading to my kids, building lego houses together, letting my son beat me at board games, watching Sound of Music!!! – and more! It’s been a fabulous week already!! SO thankful for my family!!
One thing that unexpectedly happened after dinner the other night was I discovered a life lesson from a silly avocado seed!!
My daughter grabbed the pit of an avocado I had sliced up earlier and asked if we could plant it and grow our own avocado tree!! She was so excited and then I became super excited because I LOVE avocados!! I was totally tracking with her!! We jumped online to see if it could be done and find out if it would even grow here in our area. And after an hour of looking at pictures and reading, I found out an avocado plant needs a LOT of sun to grow beautiful avocado fruit. The more sun and heat, and of course water and good soil, the more bountiful and luscious the fruit would be!! Well, that doesn’t work so well for us here in Oregon…there’s not a lot of sun and heat here most of the year, so then I thought, maybe we could just grow it inside where at least it would be warmer…right?!
Yes! I found out it would grow. But not as it was created to. It needs SUN! – beautiful, blazing, hot sunshine to become the tree it was intended to be!
Here are two photos I found online of an avocado tree grown from an avocado pit after two years…the one on the left is a houseplant and the one on the right has been outside in direct sun. It makes for a cute little house plant. BUT, it never grows fruit…and never looks big, beautiful and healthy like it’s outside sibling on the right.
Then, after many years, the outside tree that has been soaking up the sun and warm weather, produces yummy fruit within 3-5 years and more and more with every year. Look at how big and beautiful this avocado tree is!!
So…in relation to my walk with Jesus…which one am I? That’s what all this came down to. Am I the houseplant or the big bountiful tree?
Yes, I’m alive like the avocado houseplant. Perhaps I’d even consider myself to have a healthy walk with God and perhaps every year grow a little bit in my faith. I might be the one that comes to church with the right clothes on, says the right things and helps out here and there…doing my duty. Or maybe I just sit in the corner and look nice and add to the general ambiance of things…but at least I’m there, right?! I’m faithful and steady. If I believe Jesus is the Son of God, has died on the cross for my sins and I’ve accepted Him as my Lord and Savior then Praise Jesus…I’m going to heaven and for that I’m SO thankful! His grace is amazing!!
But the big question is, am I FRUITFUL? Am I living the life the Lord God created me to live? If only we had eyes to see!!
That’s where I got hung up in this whole avocado seed investigation. Have I settled for the houseplant simply trying to be comfortable? – never producing fruit? Have I settled for only what I can see and desire? – because if so, my vision is SO limited!!
Am I outside my comfort zone in the blazing sun feeling the heat of life in hard times because I want to be fruitful? Am I getting messy with birds in my branches, insects trying to eat at me, woodpeckers beating me, the rain pounding down on me soaking me to the core? Am I growing, cracking, being pruned, digging deeper, stretching my branches higher and higher? Are my branches weighed down with the fruit hanging from them? Do people sit beneath my shade feeling refreshed, do they pluck my fruit and feel rejuvenated and replenished? Am I a big, majestic, beautiful tree with bushels of fruit?
Jesus talks a lot about being fruitful…
“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather
grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree
bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut
down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the Vine-dresser. Every branch in Me that
does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes,
that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
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.
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather
them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words
abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father
is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
Jesus wants His kids to be fruitful…to be big, majestic, powerful, beautiful vines loaded with fruit! He wants us to live a full, rich life that blesses those around us with nourishment, refreshment, shade, protection, comfort, truth, vitality, and love! – just like He did. The fruit isn’t for us…just like the tree doesn’t benefit from the fruit. It’s for the blessing of others!
When I think of someone who bears fruit, I think of someone with the qualities of the fruits of the Spirit…someone like Jesus who exudes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I think of someone who feeds, encourages, nourishes, builds up, blesses, comforts, loves on, serves and strengthens others. When someone is fruitful, others come and pick off that fruit and are satisfied by it.
Would people around you call you fruitful? Is your “fruit” pleasant, satisfying, good?
Ohhhh, you might be thinking right now, “Jessica, I have SUCH a long way to go! I want to be fruitful and I try, but I just keep messing it all up!!”
HAHA!! – don’t we all!!! But praise the Lord that He makes it so easy and allows us to start afresh EVERY morning!!
What do we have to do to bear fruit? The same thing the branches do that bear the fruit…
Abide in the vine.
That’s it! Abide in the Vine. There only ONE thing we need to “do”!
Do branches work hard!?!?! Do they strain and cry and weep and mourn and punish themselves and try harder and harder? When you walk under a tree, do you hear all that happening?? Wouldn’t that be so funny!! LOL!
Nope! It’s quiet. They just hang in there. They sit and stay attached to the trunk of the tree and wait. They center their entire being on the trunk and fruit naturally springs up in due season. They don’t go off on their own and try to figure out a way to produce the right kind of fruit. If they did, they would die. Instead, they obey and they stay right with the tree. From the heat of the “Son” they are given food. From the “Water” of the Word they are given refreshment through the roots. From the “Gardener” they are trimmed and pruned and strengthened…all because they stay WITH the “Vine”…Jesus.
Yes, sometimes it comes with pain, with heat, with rain, with trials, with bugs, with dirt, with pruning. BUT, with it, we also experience joy unspeakable, deep love we could never experience without it, power, strength and grace we would have never known without it. We feel alive, we feel His presence, we experience our purpose for why we were made. The people around us experience blessing that could have never come without it. Without hard times…without the heat of the sun…we will never never never know how good, how satisfying, how blessed it is to be fruitful.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in
the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight
is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is
like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and
whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”
Doesn’t that sound delightful!?!? – planted by streams of water…yielding fruit…never withering…always prospering! And it comes to us by simply delighting in the Word of God…meditating on it day and night…centering our lives around it.
“Blessed (happy) are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”
How do we experience happiness, fruit, blessing & prosperity? – by walking in obedience to Him…the master gardener. NOT going on our own, pursuing our own desires, plans, comforts…no! But by transplanting ourselves onto the Vine and staying put. Walking where He walks, going where He asks us to go, knowing that His power, His goodness, His love, His joy is always flowing through us because we are attached to Him.
We can walk confidently through the heat. We can stand faithfully in the rain. We can weather any storm because we are not alone. We are apart of Him, the one who gave His life for us, the one who loves us more than anything. The one who desires to bless us to overflowing so that we can bless others around us. What a beautiful life that would be.
Don’t settle and be a houseplant. Don’t settle for what’s easy.
Get into the Word, let go of all your desires, dreams, pursuits and simply attach yourself to the Vine and never never never let go. You will begin producing fruit that will bless your family beyond what you can imagine!! You will find new desires, dreams and pursuits that actually satisfy you!! You will start living the life God has created you to live and you will be happier and experience peace deeper than you ever thought possible.
And, all thanks to a silly avocado seed!!
Praise to Him who creates such beauty all around us! Just think what He can do with your life!
With all my love,