Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bearing Fruit

On a recent trip back to the homeland of Indiana,
 I was able to stop by my brother's place near Tocsin.
His wife Gina was giving me a garden tour
 of a late summer garden and the fruit trees laden with fruit.

                      A very healthy rhubarb plant.
 Yes, this caused a major sin splurge of ENVY.
This just does not grow well in Virginia.
  I dream of gardens filled with these large leaves 
and pink-red stalks.
And then there is the wake-up reality
 of paying up to $6.99 per pound when I have a desire for rhubarb crisp.

There were heavy branches with apples soaking up sunshine, 
waiting out the days to ripeness.

Peaches slowly getting their ruddy hue hinting at nearness for picking.

Then Gina smiled and said she wanted to show me
 something special in a tree.
Pushing aside branches, I see a bottle tied in a tree
 with a full size apple INSIDE the bottle.

On a visit to a vineyard they had seen a bottle of wine
 with a pear inside and a $250 price tag.
Well, my vintner brother took that as a call to just try that out himself.

So, the story goes that they worked around the branches with blossoms
 and worked to find a branch that curved just so and fit into the bottle.  
Then  they watched the process as the blossom became the apple inside.
 I think next year when I stop by, there will bottles tied to every branch on their trees.
Not that they will ever see a $200 sale on a bottle of their homemade vintage,
 but it is just way cool to watch.

But, I keep coming back to this picture and thinking about bearing fruit.
Wondering if maybe sometimes God has had to "tie me down"
in order to bear fruit.
Maybe that is part of the maturation when you are allowed
 to stay in a ministry setting for 24 years.
Maybe that is when you finally get to the mature phase to bear fruit.

John 15:8
This is to my Father’s glory, 
that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

So may our fruit-bearing bring God Glory.
And every time this image crosses my mind- it will remind me of 
the disciple-making process of God's new creation
He chooses to work in Me.

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