Monday, September 22, 2014

Sweet Fruit

They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:8

I love blueberries. In fact, I'm rather sure they are my favorite fruit. They are like little pieces of candy, even straight from the freezer! Love them.

My second favorite fruit? Mangos. Their tropical sweetness is like a special treat. Pure deliciousness.

But do you know what those sweet fruits grow out of? Acidic soil. Yep. For them to grow into healthy plants and develop that delectable fruit, the roots need to be sunk into soil that is bitter.

Isn't that how life can be? Look back up at today's verse. Drought. Heat. Those achingly tough moments in our lives, and yet when our roots sprout toward him, we never fail to bear fruit. And that isn't the only place in the Bible where we are compared to trees or plants whose roots need to seek out the living water of Christ. We are encouraged over and over again to grow our roots toward him so that he can develop useable fruit in our lives. And sometimes it is the bitter soil of life that produces the sweetest fruit in our lives.

We minister most deeply out of our hurts.

Our lives speak the loudest out of our pain.

Some of our sweetest moments can come from our most extensive sorrows.

No, that doesn't mean we always like the bitter soil. In fact, I cannot think of one time I've found my roots in that acrid place and automatically rejoiced. If there was another way to grow sweet fruit in me, I'd gladly sign up. But that's not how the fruit I love, the fruit that is sweetest on my tongue and pleasing to others, is grown.

And the truths I've discovered in my toughest moments is that God is always enough.

Joy is a choice sometimes made minute-to-minute.

Bitter soil can be made sweet through the hands of the loving, tender Gardner of our lives.

Father, grow sweet fruit out of our heartbreak, and until this growing season is over, tend our hearts and make us strong. Help us to find joy in the midst of our days. Bring encouragement that we can see and feel. And sink our roots so deeply in you that we are daily refreshed with your living water.