Call it bearing fruit or giving yourself purpose, everyone I’ve ever met has an internal desire to be prosperous on either the small or large scale. Today I am taking a challenge from our Pastor at Real Life Church in Pullman, Washington, Thad DeBuhr and using my creativity to talk about fruit.
Pruning makes us subject to disease
We have a cherry tree outside our kitchen window. For 4 years now, we’ve watched blossom and bear fruit. Last Summer, I told myself that I would prune the branches so we would have normal size cherries. Yes, cherries are a fruit, I Google’d it.
If you didn’t know, a tree that is not pruned will not produce very good fruit. The tree’s natural desire is to produce as much as possible. Branches get over-crowded and the cherries don’t have enough resources to grow large. Therefore, if you want a tree to produce good fruit, it must be pruned. But for today, let’s look at the entire lifecycle of a mature tree.
Cherry trees are susceptible to disease more so than most fruit trees. So pruning a cherry tree should happen in the Fall or early Winter. Timing of pruning is crucial to produce good fruit. If you try to prune to early in the Summer, then you can outright kill the tree. In contrast, if you prune too late, the tree can become diseased. It is essential that the tree can heal after pruning in a season that disease risk is lower.
Looking pretty, but still nothing
In early Spring, we start to see the tree come back to life. Cherry buds begin to spring forth. By late March we see the branches sprout display a beautiful white flower the brings the tree to life. Often this is the phase of the cherry tree that you will see wonderful images on the internet.
Much like our lives, when we are at our full bloom, we like to post all over social media. But guess what? The tree has yet top produce fruit and fulfill its purpose. Even though the tree is beautiful to look at, we still don’t see the final product.
Finally production of the fruit
The last stage of this fruit trees production comes after another dramatic event. It once again loses its beauty and all the pretty white flowers fall to the ground. See the tree is not able to supply enough nutrients to sustain both cherry growth and beautiful flowers.
Sometimes we look at those producing fruit and aren’t that impressed with how they look or how blessed their life appears. Similarly, we sometimes will look at people who look picture perfect, but are not producing any fruit. Bottom line, we don’t know what part of the fruit production process they are in.
Our best course of action is to pray they are in the part of their life that God has intended. If God has given you the gift of discernment and you can see what stage of life they are in. Pray that God can use you to help them move to the next stage. Remember our lives are not based on the seasons of time. The seasons of God are in charge and we all produce fruit at different stages.
If you have a friend in the healing stages post pruning, reach out in love and comfort. Do you have a friend in need of pruning? Put your shears down and let God prune their lives. Lastly, and this is the hardest one for me, if someone is trying to bless you with the fruit of their produce, let them.
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