Waiting for the HarvestOn December 8, 2020 by Amy BurginReading Time: 2 minutes
Do you ever feel like some things in your life will never bear fruit?
I certainly have. I have prayed for people and things for years and years but have had to wait so long for the fruit. Some things I’ve prayed about for a decade or even two decades before I saw lasting fruit. A decade feels a long time in this body that typically only gets six to eight of them, maybe nine or possibly ten. The thought of it brings tears to these short-lived, aging eyes. Some things I still wait for.
My “Fruitless” Fruit Tree
I sit next to my big picture window tonight and the moon is shining bright through the cracks in the blinds. I’m listening to music and thinking again about my little orange tree.
My mother-in-love bought it for us back in 2009. When she bought it, little oranges the size of golf balls covered the tree but the following year the tree did not produce any fruit. We moved in 2011 and brought the little, barren tree with us.
After three years, it still didn’t produce so we planted it in the ground thinking its roots needed more room to grow. For five more years I watered the tree religiously. Fragrant, white flowers bloomed each spring. From these blossoms grew tiny, dark green baby oranges. Unfortunately, each year, they fell off in this tiny state.
Nine Years Later
In 2018, after nine years of no fruit, I decided to visit the nursery from which the orange tree was bought. I explained to the lady the problem with my tree and she asked me a few questions, “How long have you had the tree? Is it planted in the ground or a pot? Does it produce flowers?” When I answered her questions, she responded dryly, “The tree you have will never produce fruit again. You must dig it up, throw it away and purchase a new tree.”
I noticed a bag of citrus tree fertilizer on the shelf while she was speaking. While she plainly spoke of giving up, the bag spoke of hope. I thanked her for her advice and then purchased the fertilizer that had caught my eye. I followed the instructions on the bag. When spring came, the familiar white flowers bloomed and then formed these tiny, green baby oranges as before. But this time, after nine long years, four of them grew to maturity.
The following year, I continued to water and fertilize my little tree. The oranges grew and we had a harvest of twenty-two.
Our 2020 harvest is pictured here, beautiful and sweet.
The Lord Will Have His Harvest
As I write this, I think of Sarah and Abraham, barren for decades and old before they finally saw the fruit of her womb, Isaac. The waiting was long and sometimes bitter but the harvest was worth the wait.
I think also of the prophets long ago, waiting for the Messiah. Unlike Sarah, they never saw the fruit of their prophecy while they walked this earth, but the fruit of the promise came nonetheless, so wonderful, we celebrate it year after year – Christmas time.
And if a man reaps what he sows, will not God?
What a harvest! You and me! Fruitful and totally free!