Yesterday I talked about the stunning day we had outside at Crane’s Orchard. It was lovely. Absolutely lovely.
Now that I’m at home, sitting in the quiet listening to Fernando Ortega, my mind spins both with things that I saw and with things it seems the Lord showed me.
As we meandered between rows and rows of trees, many of which have probably been there for decades, we eventually came to a grove of young trees. Newly planted to birth the coveted Honeycrisp apple, these trees were small. Delicate looking. Even frail, it seemed. Still staked down with a protective wrap around their bases, these trees, though little, were producing delicious apples–and lots of them.
Here’s my youngest, who at 3.5 years is already half the height of this Honeycrisp. As I stood to to snap this picture, taking in the amazing sight of a tree giving life to this much fruit, it reminded me of John 15:5:
5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Bear much fruit. Isn’t that what I long to do? What I desire for my children? My husband? To see love poured out; to experience joy in abundance; to live in peace; to exhibit patience after spilled milk; to extend kindness and to model goodness; to be faithful to my husband and to my friends; to be a picture of gentleness and self-control [*cough*]. Each day. Imagine the harmony! Our home would be a utopia in Suburbia.
Yet John expresses this promise as a condition: “If a man remains in me and I in him…”
The alternative, I suppose, is the rotting and withering that comes with a life separated from the vine, from Christ.And, if I’m honest, sometimes I think I can make it on my own, drawing from the shallow well of my own strength. Haven’t we all thought this? Or if not consciously, unconsciously? I know better. But there are days when I think that somehow I’ll be able to reach deeper, keep it all together, stay focused, be kind–if only I try harder.
Today the Lord reminded me that even if you’re frail and small, even if you need the support of something stronger pointing you to Heaven, even if you’re young–fruit only grows if you’re deeply rooted.
Being in the orchard reminded me that it is only the vine that provides this kind of life and bountiful fruit.