Expectant Ground

Paths to Hope, #5

#5_Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay .jpgUncertain ground—barren, dormant, complacent. Ground that bores us, but sucks us in to its lethargic state. Unexciting and inactive, it is the place where vision fades and apathy takes root. Dead ground, dangerous ground, unproductive ground, forbidden ground.

I say forbidden because it’s not where God wants us…

  • He tells us to plant ourselves by streams of living water and yield fruit—even our leaves won’t wither (Psalm 1:3).
  • Jesus tells us to live in Him, the Vine, and bear fruit that lasts—much fruit and more fruit (John 15:16).
  • The Spirit produces fruit in us—love, joy, peace, and more (Galatians 5:22).

So move. Walk the path to expectant ground and replant yourself where green shoots push through watered soil, vines flower with promised produce, and popsicle sticks flaunt seed packets that proclaim an expected crop.

Let your roots dig deep, face the Son, drink Living Water, and expect the Master Gardener to do what you cannot do on your own—bring forth fruit in abundance.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” (Isa 60:1)

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I am Fruitful

Like a Tree… (3)

3cherry-blossom_auntmasako_Pixabay

From cherry blossoms in the spring to apples ripe for picking in the fall, we enjoy the beauty of bountiful trees in the Garden State. We wait for peak season to stroll through Branch Brook Park, wowed anew that Newark’s cherry blossoms rival those in D.C. In autumn we plan a day to pluck apples from their branches to make pies and sauce. The gray, dormant trees of winter do not disappoint—come spring, one by one, they begin producing their fruit. And so do we.

We could turn this discussion to seasons and the need for warmth and sunshine, or review the necessity of water-searching roots. Instead, let’s look at a simple secret to bearing fruit—being connected.

Fruit production should not be viewed as work; it’s less complicated than that. Fruit doesn’t come from our labor but through our connection to the branch.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NKJV)

That sounds simple, but it’s not easy to lie dormant, to wait, to trust things will happen without effort. It’s not easy to trust when I don’t even see buds. It’s not easy to be expectant when I feel nothing coursing through my veins. And it’s certainly not easy to submit to pruning and believe that somehow it will help. But abiding is a sign of faith in the unseen, mysterious ways of God. It’s believing that the premise of John 15 is true and a connected branch will bring forth fruit, and more fruit, and then much fruit. And there’s no expiration date.

So I’m just a quiescent, expectant branch hanging on to the Tree for dear life—and that position, that connection, that dependence is producing fruit.

I am fruitful.

3apple-tree-Nelya_PixabayThe righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green. Psalm 92:12-14 (NIV)

Photos compliments of Pixabay.com (apples by Nelyah, blossoms by auntmasako)