The other day 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 what I call a weed with pretty little orange flowers. You could no longer see the ground or the trunk of the tree because of this weed. The branches above were covered in this weed. But it’s when you pull the weed to the side, the beautiful fruit is 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 garden sheers.
The good news folks is that the weed could be removed from the orange tree with a little work and determination. My orange tree could show off its beautiful fruit once again and fully soak in the sunshine. The orange tree could continue to thrive and not be choked out by the weed.
We can do that too, my friend.
Who is your gardener?
Who can remove the weeds in your life that long to ensnare you?
God can remove the weeds in our lives that long to ensnare us and deplete us of joy, hope, and love. God can remove the junk that longs to overtake us and cover us with ugliness and chaos. God can handle your mess.
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 the weeds that cover the branches of the fruit tree.
But remember this truth – our heavenly Father is the gardener and Jesus is the true vine. We must be attached to the true vine. Jesus is not looking to ensnare us but to give us eternal life.
When Jesus comes into your life, you have someone who walks with you through the trials. You’re no longer suffering alone. We no longer feel trapped or overwhelmed because Jesus is near and loves us.
As I think about removing the weeds from my orange tree, the branches and leaves on the tree had to move and bend from the force of me pulling the weeds away.
We, too, will have to move and bend as the Lord works on us.
John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
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 ensnare me, Lord. Help me to stay connected to the true vine, Jesus. May we continue to reach toward your hand, to draw closer to you every day. In Jesus’ name, I pray amen.