It is a time when much is coming to fruition. Some friends are graduating. Others are getting married.
Scene from a wedding shower
I want my life to be a series of times of fruition. I want to be a part of God’s dynamic process every moment.
And Jesus promises that if I remain in him, I will bear much fruit. I picture myself as part of the vine, resting in the safety of his strength and comfort. I am reminded of a verse of a song I wrote:
Let me take this need to the vine where I’m loved
The solution’s only found there
Let me twine with Him and find hope again
Wait in peace, He’ll answer my prayer
We live in an age of growth. The difference between the past and the time we live in is like winter and summer in Alabama. During the winter most things die, the grass is brown. But once the warm temperatures hit, everything grows like crazy. This year we’ve had a lot of rain and my yard is burgeoning with thick trees, sprouting bushes, blooming flowers, and sweet ripe peaches.
In the past, it was not an age of growth. It was a stark period where the Israelites sinned time and time again.
But the prophets foretold that this would end: “Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.” Isa 55:13
And sometimes, especially as I enter menopause, I feel like I am living I a desert, weak and bereft of resources, but I’m not.
I have the Word, which is powerful to foment growth. “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isa 55:11
I have God’s faithful guidance, and the endless fountain of the Spirit in me:
- “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38
- “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isa 58:11
These are powerful things! “All people are like grass, and all their beauty is like a flower of the field. The grass dries up and the flower drops off, but the word of the Lord lasts forever.” Isa 40:8
What do they produce in me?
Peter said, through the Spirit, that they produce love: “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” I Peter 1:22
Paul and the writer of Hebrews said they produce good works:
- “May this God of peace prepare you to do every good thing he wants. May he work in us through Jesus Christ to do what is pleasing to him.” Hebrews 13:21
- For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:10
The word was planted in me for a purpose, and I need to fulfill my purpose, just as the trees and flowers fulfill theirs. Just as they “clap their hands” to praise to God, I need to THRIVE, embracing every moment, so that God will be praised.
- Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. I Chron 16:33
- Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Ps 96:1
- You are extremely happy with joy and praise that can hardly be expressed in words as you obtain the salvation that is the goal of your faith. I Peter 1:8
- Through Jesus we should always bring God a sacrifice of praise, that is, words that acknowledge him. Don’t forget to do good things for others and to share what you have with them. These are the kinds of sacrifices that please God. Hebrews 13:15