When I was growing up, I loved field trips.
I mean, what kid doesn’t? It was an excuse to get out of the classroom, explore something new, educational (ish) and exciting (ish.) Plus we got to pack a lunch in a classic paper bag or cool metal (or plastic) lunchbox.
Some of my favorite field trips were trips to local orchards.
It probably stemmed for my love of agriculture… and also my love of food. (Rarely did these trip ever not include free samples of juice, fruit, candy, etc.) Plus, orchards weren’t a super popular deal in Kansas– wheat and beef, yes. Orchards? Not so much.
I am still love visiting orchards and down-homey-agricultural commodities. (And no, not only for the free samples. That’s just a perk.) Each time I visit or drive by one of these super cool businesses, I can’t help but to be impressed. I mean, planting and growing one of these bad boys is no small commitment.
It takes YEARS. Like, a long time before the owners see fruit from their rewards. Apples, if planted from a seed, can take from six to ten years before they bear good fruit. Peaches range from three to five, pecans need up to six years and oranges start bearing minimal fruit at around three years, but don’t reach full production strength and maturity til 27 years.
Good grief. That IS a commitment.
As I pondered this truth, I (as usual) was drawn back to thinking about our walk with Christ.
It’s not an overnight process. I mean, seriously, we aren’t growing a Chia Pet here people… This kind of thing takes TIME.
And apparently, lots of it.
In fact, our walk with Christ is going to be a lifelong experience. We will never reach “full maturity” and truly see all of our fruit until we reach heaven’s gate.
But don’t be discouraged… The growth process is very rewarding too!
Just like the orchard owner starts out small, perhaps with just a few seeds or some baby seedlings, God does the same with us. He plants a tiny “Jesus seed” in our heart…. and then events, circumstances and people we encounter over the coming years cultivate us, growing our faith from a leedle-bitty seed into an orchard that anyone would be proud to explore!
God plants us on solid ground– rooted in Christ… Encouraging us to reach for good soil in His Word. He sends sunshine to encourage us to grow upwards… Sometimes comes rain because we need it to grow. Every now and then He will prune back the “unproductive” branches of our lives to ensure we are reaching our fruit-bearing potential. And yes, He even sends the “fertilizer” events in our life– things that kind of stink, but make us grow stronger and healthier.
Then, after much tender care, protection, and nurturing– we bear fruit. As that fruit falls around us, new little baby trees sprout up from our seeds– and the orchard that is our earthly life continues to grow.
Kind of a cool thought, huh? At what rate would you say your current “faith orchard” is growing? What type of Christian fruit do you see in your life? What encourages you to keep growing?
I love the power of God… How He can take empty vessels like you and me… and with one tiny seed (and lots of love!) grow us into a sweet, fruit-bearing orchard!
Growing with God,
“Earth produced green seed-bearing plants, all varieties, And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts. God saw that it was good.” ~Genesis 1:12 MSG