Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Continue to Bear Good Fruit

When my husband, Carey, was 12 years old, his dad had a massive stroke and died four days later. His mother was left destitute with five children. This included Carey, three girls, and a three-month-old baby boy. Since the children’s father had been a golf professional, they lived at the country club. When he died, the family was forced to find somewhere else to live.

Carey’s mom, later called “Mammaw” by my children and me, took the $3,000 her husband left in a life insurance policy and searched for another home. She ultimately purchased a tiny, rundown two-bedroom house for $1,500. She used most of the remainder of the insurance money to enclose the back porch for a much-needed third bedroom. 

Outside this dilapidated house was a gnarled pear tree, its limbs twisted and broken. Mammaw hated the way that old tree looked, but she couldn’t afford to pay someone to cut it down and haul it away.

The first year they lived there, the ugly old tree yielded a few pears. The next year, she watered it and put a few iron nails around it, hoping they would act as fertilizer. She was pleasantly surprised when the tree produced a good crop of pears that summer. 

That old tree, once thought of as worthless and unsightly, became a wellspring for Mamaw’s generosity. Over the next 45 years of her life, she canned over a thousand jars of its fruit. She put up pears, pear preserves, and her own original pear relish. These were received as welcomed gifts by friends and family.

Much like that old pear tree, our bodies age and become wrinkled and misshapen. We may think of ourselves as ugly and unproductive, but thankfully, The Lord does not look at the things people look at.

"People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

We need Living Water, the nourishment of God’s Word, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit to be productive and share our blessings with others. Until the day we die, we are to continue to bear the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (See Galatians 5:22)

The fruit of the Spirit is a wonderful gift of encouragement we’re to offer to others.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

We can be generous and bless others when we share this tasty fruit.

Copyright © Louise L. Looney, used with permission.

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