Faithful to …

I heard an Old Testament scholar teach on the New Testament.  He was talking about fruit.  He said that a tree did not produce fruit JUST to be looked at; but rather it produced fruit to be eaten.

Well, ……..not exactly.

I majored in Biological Sciences in college.  I didn’t put those studies to much use but I never regretted choosing that major.

One of my favorite classes was Botany.

Ultimately plants produce fruits to reproduce.

Fruit carries a seed.

In many cases the fruit of the plant is best (or only) reproduced by being eaten.  But “being eaten” isn’t the point of the seed.

Plants are such amazing, divinely created, systems of beauty!

A plant labors to produce a seed-bearing-fruit so that it does not go extinct.

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2 Peter, Chapter 1:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

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A fruit of the spirit is faithfulness.

Here is the thing… about the fruits of the spirit… I don’t think you can will yourself to have the fruits of the spirit.  You can’t be determined to love, to have joy and peace, forbearance and kindness (well maybe those two you can), goodness, faithfulness.

Fruits don’t simply appear by a wave of the wand or a spontaneous snap of the finger.  Many factors go into fruit bearing.

A seed.  And to the seed you add soil (ooooooo ….heard a really great discussion on soil today.  Click here ).  The soil needs water from rain, but still, it will be a while before the fruit appears.  The seed sprouts roots and a stem that pokes out of the dark soil into the light!  The light feeds the plant and the plant leans and grows up towards the light.

I found this video which explains it all, with a little shot of universal wisdom at the end.

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A fruit of the spirit is faithfulness.

Three years ago I was getting ready to go into my last of 6 rounds of chemo for lymphoma.  Every round required me to stay in the hospital for five days while I received round the clock chemicals into my veins.

Three years ago I believed in love…..but it was just a tiny, naked stem.  That stem had to push against gravity.  It had to survive drought.  It was wind blown.  But ALL of those things….if the stem PERSEVERES….ALL of those things make the plant stronger.

Till one day, in the darkness of winter something starts to shift.  Spring comes and leaves and buds sprout.  And perhaps if there has been enough sunlight and enough water and some pruning, the fruit appears.

Faithfulness is a fruit of the spirit.

Faithful to what?

For me, faithful to

-God

-God is love

-Love does not need reciprocity

-Love is not scarce

Three years ago I told those I loved of my faith.

As if to test my theory, my love was not reciprocated.

I wondered if love was scarce.  I wondered if my love mattered if it wasn’t reciprocated.  I wondered if God was love.  I wondered if God was.

I persisted.

There was drought.

And now, today, the faithfulness is a fruit.

Amazing God, Awesome Creator, Diligent Lover, Abundant Provider….how amazing is Your orchestration of the universe from tiny soil microbe to distant star.  Oh that I may love even when I feel unloved.  Oh that I never doubt the ocean of love in which I swim.

We were created to bear fruit.  May it be so.  🙂

 

 

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