Fruit keeps on growing…
Today marks the last visit to my dad’s little farm. After next Tuesday, the farm will no longer be “ours”. My good husband, who has gone there so many times in my behalf, is doing it one last time today. It simply had to be done on this day and, since I get to fly to Texas today to speak to sweet sisters, my constant rescuer is on the road to Jacksonville. I’ve made Glenn a list of things to not leave behind. I’ve specified certain things and their locations….things that just have my father’s fingerprints all over them…things that are worth very little to anyone else, but serve as memory handles of happy days spent in a sweet family circle that can never be quite as complete again.
I’ve told him how to transplant a little cane of my dad’s massive muscadine arbor. You bend the fruit-bearing cane over and bury it. Then you go back one last time and unearth it once the tiny new roots have begun to take hold in the soil. You cut it, take it home with you, and plant it in a protective tube, water it frequently, give it lots of light and wait.
Fruit can grow long after the original planter–in this case, my dad–is gone. It can be transplanted to distant places and it can reproduce itself exponentially. It takes some digging. It takes some burying. It takes some unearthing. It takes some travel. It takes some water and light. It takes protection and vigilance. But it produces something that will always taste like the first fruits.
It occurs to me that this is exactly how it is with the fruit of the Spirit. With all of these ingredients at play, His Will in me can just keep on living in others in which I may plant the seed. The vine (John 15:5), long after I am gone, will just keep right on bearing fruit that bears strong testimony to the holiness and saving power of the Original Planter (John 15:26), who is also a dear Father: THE Father.
So dig in the Word (John 17:17). Experience the burial… in the saving act of baptism (Romans 6:1-4). Unearth the growth–the root system– that prepares you to bear fruit in new places and situations (Matthew 13:18-23). Go with the gospel (Mark 16:15,16). Plant it over and over in hearts. Be generous with the water of life (John 4:14) and the light of the world (John 8:12). Be protective of young and tender plants (I Corinthians 8:13). Be vigilant about the harvest that’s plentiful, remembering that laborers are few (Luke 10:2). And enjoy the big arbor…the power that continues from the Original Planter and His first fruit (I Corinthians 10:23)!