I'm thinking about Galatians 5:22 this morning: (From The Message)
"But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard--things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."
I love the part that talks about God bringing gifts into our lives the way fruit grows in an orchard. That got me thinking about orchards this morning.
And how orchards begin with new plantings.
These new plants have to be tended carefully and watered often.
Sometimes, the orchard experiences harsh conditions.
And some trees may even need to be pruned or totally removed from the orchard.
But if the caretaker keeps at it, eventually blossoms begin to appear. And the blossoms turn into fruit.
And there is plenty of fruit to offer to others.
So it is with the gifts God gives to His children. The gifts of faith must be planted and nurtured over time. Sometimes we encounter difficulties in our faith walk. And we have to prune anything that turns us away from God. But, if we continue to care for the orchard of our faith, then the gifts will blossom into beautiful fruit that we can offer to others.
I love this analogy of the orchard as I think about the gifts God has given me. I look for the serenity that comes as I nurture and use my gifts for God's glory. Today, I embrace the exuberance of life, compassion of heart and the direction of my energies that this scripture speaks of, for the work that God sets before me in my orchard. And, until next time, may your orchard also be blessed with sunshine and growth!