July 2021

Abiding

Our peach tree is dying. Earlier in the Spring I suspected it might be. The blossoms were lovely, but they were not profuse. As the season progressed, it made a valiant effort to produce fruit. A dying tree, however, cannot sustain fruit of any worth. While I am happy to remember its prosperous times, the loss is hard to bear, and we will most likely cut it down before the first frost.

The poignancy of it has given me much to ponder. I am aware of two responses to this natural representation of spiritual truths. First, I find a cry within that I not become a dying tree. Lord, don’t let me settle for a few seasons of bloom and fruit bearing, only to stand dead and brittle without hope for the future. You have promised that the people of God will “still yield fruit in advanced age; they will be full of sap and very green.” (Psalm 92:14 NASB) “For he will be like a tree planted by the water that extends its roots by a stream, and does not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought, nor cease to yield fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:8 NASB) Thank you for the power of your word to strengthen and encourage. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The second, and possibly deeper cry, is one that transcends this space-time continuum and reaches to the eternal reality of our victorious King. Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NASB):

Even if the fig tree does not blossom,
And there is no fruit on the vines,
If the yield of the olive fails,
And the fields produce no food,
Even if the flock disappears from the fold,
And there are no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will triumph in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like deer’s feet,
And has made me walk on my high places.

Dear reader, as you ponder the season in which you find yourself, be at rest in the character and strength of God to sustain you. As Jesus said to His disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NASB) Abide, dear one, abide. There is no greater rest and no greater productivity than in the One who has known you from before the foundation of the world.

Until next week, beloved, give praise to Him whose grace has brought you near and whose power has born fruit in your life of abiding.

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