“I am sure than when St. Paul spoke of ‘the fruit of the Spirit,’ he had in mind such processes that as we find in nature. A tree which brings forth good fruit is able to do so because over many years it has been brought under the influence of cultivation, fertilization, sunshine, rain, caressing winds, [and] cleaning from blight, and so it acquires the power to bear good fruit. A farmer cannot get his result by suddenly becoming very busy for a season and doing these things.” Shirley Carter Hughson
“The person … who looks for quick results in the seed-planting of well-doing will be disappointed. If I want potatoes for dinner tomorrow, it will do me little good to go out and plant potatoes in my garden tonight. There are long stretches of darkness and invisibility and silence that separated planting and reaping. During the stretches of waiting there is cultivation and weeding and nurturing and planting still other seeds.” Eugene Peterson
“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season…”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Fruit comes “in its season”, and as a result of years “under the influence of cultivation” and predictable natural processes. Healthy growth takes both time and work, but is definitely does take time. Does your work honor the principle that God cannot be rushed?
- Are you ever guilty of “suddenly becoming very busy for a season”, of impatiently trying to force things to change?
- What might God be doing in you or your situation during “long stretches of darkness and invisibility and silence?”
- With these things in mind, think about people on the journey of faith. What should be your attitude towards fellow pilgrims? What should be your attitude toward yourself? Can you relax and trust God’s timing? What would be the lessons for where you are now? that you may need to learn before you can move on?
Abba, help me to walk rather than to race, to receive rather than to grasp, and to relax rather than to strive. Help me to step into the flow of your divine life rather than living a frenzied version of my very human life. Help me focus on being with you and trust you for the timetable.
For More: The Spiritual Letters of Shirley Carter by Shirley Carter Hughson
The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)