When my wife and I bought our first house a few years ago, we were excited to find a citrus tree in our backyard. Unfortunately, this tree had not been taken care of. We naively thought that a little TLC would be all that it would need to nurse it back to health. After a few months, we were disappointed with only five fruit to show for our efforts. Undeterred, we continued to take care of this tree by fertilizing it, watering it, and tending to it in other ways. Twelve months later we were rewarded with…three fruit—not exactly what we were hoping for. Despite our disappointment, we continued to tend to our beloved tree, and the following year we had a harvest of over one hundred fruit! In my own personal life, in light of this pandemic that we’re living through, I’ve found myself becoming frustrated at times by not being able to share my faith with friends like I used to—namely in face to face conversations. It feels like I’ve been handed a sick tree, and it’s difficult not seeing the fruit that I’m used to seeing.
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30
I read this verse a few days ago in my devotional time, and I was reminded that in our efforts to live for Jesus, sometimes it can be difficult or discouraging, yet Jesus promises us fruitfulness. We may not see immediate results, but a life of devotion faithfully lived out before God will result in fruitfulness for His Kingdom. As followers of Jesus we are called to be soul winners. This takes wisdom and patience. What are you wanting from the Lord? What is He wanting to do in you? Perhaps you’re trying to grow in the spiritual disciplines of prayer and Scripture reading, and you’re finding it little bit more difficult with the kids home all day everyday. Perhaps you’re a little frustrated like me that you can’t share your faith with others in person like you used to. No matter what you’re facing, God wants to provide a way for you to grow. Instead of hiding away from your kids, perhaps God is leading you to show your children what it looks like to pray and read your Bible. Maybe instead of witnessing to your co-workers, God wants you to share your faith with your neighbors. Whatever it may be, God is calling you to be fruitful. Like this proverb says, may we all be walking with Jesus in a manner to which we are fruitful, and inviting others on this journey with us.
Pastor Andy Jirrels
Chi Alpha Campus Pastor Lamar University