Yesterday I shared about my lonely orange tree, and today I want to finish the message on how trials can produce good fruit.
My orange tree was surrounded and almost overtaken by a weed with pretty little orange flowers. I could no longer see the ground or the trunk of the tree because of the beautiful weed. The branches were also covered in this weed.
It was when I pulled the weed to the side that the fruit was revealed.
I started pulling the weed from the tree, and as I grabbed parts of it, it pricked my hands. Not only had it overtaken my orange tree, but it had developed prickly barbs along its vine. The only way to remove it was to use gloves and some cutters.
The good news is that we can remove the weed from the orange tree with a bit of patience, work, and determination. My orange tree can show off its beautiful fruit once again and fully soak up the sunshine, and the orange tree can thrive again.
We can do that too, my friend.
Who is your gardener?
Who can remove the weeds that long to choke the life out of you?
Jesus Christ can remove the weeds that long to choke the life out of us and long to overtake us. Weeds try and cover us with ugliness and chaos. Trials can do the same thing if we aren’t careful.
Trials can grip us and render us useless. We struggle to do anything because the trials we are going through make it difficult to live. Trials make it difficult to move freely, much like weeds that blanket the fruit tree’s branches.
When Jesus comes into our life, we have someone who walks with us through the trials. We’re no longer suffering alone, and we no longer feel trapped or overwhelmed because Jesus is near and loves us.
As I think about removing those weeds from my orange tree, the branches and leaves on the tree will have to move and bend from the force of me pulling the weeds away.
We, too, will have to move and bend as Jesus works on and in us. Sometimes it feels good, and sometimes it does not. But as with any good gardener, we know the result will be better.
John 15:1-2 says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that bears fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
Lord, thank you for being the gardener in my life. Father, strengthen me to go through the process of ridding the weeds that long to choke the life out of my friends and me. May we continue to reach toward your hand and draw closer to you each day. In Jesus’ name, I pray amen.
The Teaching Lady