MY REPLY TO BOB FROM WWW.SEEDTIME.COM:
I really liked your Devotional reference:
“Though the tomato plants around us may be popping out some fruit, while we seem to wonder what is taking so long, our day will come.
God is doing a work and creating something in us that will be around long after the grass has come and gone.”
In 2007 my husband, Jim, and I were licensed and ordained as pastors. God gave us Isaiah 61:3 for our ministry name, but Psalm 1 is really important to us too. They’re both about how to be the BEST TREES WE CAN BE, and our website is ironically called http://www.treesright.com.
I LOVE LEARNING ABOUT TREES, and how God compares us to them in scripture. It’s interesting how I connected with you through Compassion International, and how I was encouraged this morning at 5 a.m. by your Devotional quote above.
It seems like my husband and I are FINALLY coming into a season of fruit bearing that we’ve never experienced before. And in this Jubilee year of 2016, it’s a RELIEF to see that The Lord is “RESTORING what the devouring locusts have eaten.” Patience in perseverance pays off in producing sturdy storm withstanding trees!
Blessings in your FRUITFUL TREE endeavors for the glory of our King!
Sincerely for Souls,
Kathleen & Jim Wichterman
Trees of Righteousness Ministries
An Isaiah 61 Outreach
AND BOB’S FULL EMAIL LETTER WITH MORE GREAT TREE ANALOGIES:
On Friday, May 6, 2016, Bob | SeedTime <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
This is an excerpt from Managing Money God’s Way that I’d like to share with you today. I hope it helps as much as it has helped me!
Why God’s Way Takes Longer
I was staring at a tree the other day just day-dreaming and kind of worrying about how long it was taking to get answers to prayer for a few issues in my life. I was reminded of…
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
In my case I have been diligently trying not to “walk in the counsel of the wicked,” and it seems to be making my answers to prayer take even longer.
I have been earnestly trying to do things the right way, knowing full well that by cutting a few corners or compromising my values I could make the answers appear faster.
The major difference being that I can get mediocre answers doing it my way or the fruit God promises by doing it His way.
The prerequisite for our fruit bearing from Psalm 1 is that we:
– Do things God’s way
– Stay in the Word
If we do these two things, we have the promise that whatever we do will prosper and that we WILL bear fruit IN OUR SEASON.
Trees Grow Slowly
As I was staring at this tree I began to realize that trees grow slowly. You plant a seed for a tree and it takes a while to sprout and takes a while to grow to a decent size.
Grass and even plants, on the other hand, grow a lot faster. They sprout up quickly and sometimes you can even notice growth one day to the next.
Grass Grows Fast
Then it kind of hit me that God wants to make me “like a tree.” He isn’t interested in seeing rapid growth that will not make it to the next season and is ultimately unsustainable.
A tree, though it grows slowly, becomes a lot more sturdy and is able to withstand challenges that grass and plants can’t.
I am reminded of a storm we had last year that snapped my tomato plant right in half. The plant had grown to about 2.5 feet in a matter of months and was not strong enough to survive when the winds came.
God wants to make us strong and sturdy to withstand the storms in our lives.
“That when the wicked sprouted up like grass and all who did iniquity flourished, it was only that they might be destroyed forevermore.”
“The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”
Trees Yield More Fruit
I am excited about the tomatoes that my plants will produce this summer, but even the best tomato plant would be lucky to produce 40 lbs of tomatoes in a season.
But mature apple trees can produce over 1000 lbs in a season.
The downside, of course, is that trees don’t bear fruit 3 months after you plant them like many vegetable plants will. Some trees will take a few years or even longer to bear fruit. I remember the frustration I had with this when I wanted apples from a new tree and learned that I may have to wait a while.
Patience seems to be a rare virtue in our society these days, but it is one that we ought to develop. God seems to like taking the long road with a lot of things and as I begin to see the reason behind it, it causes me to say, “huh, God really is smarter than I am.” ?
Becoming A Tree
It’s tough watching the grass sprout up all around you and seeing others bearing fruit when you have been faithfully doing what is right, but we must not be short-sighted. We need to try to look at these things the way God sees them.
Though the tomato plants around us may be popping out some fruit, while we seem to wonder what is taking so long, our day will come.
God is doing a work and creating something in us that will be around long after the grass has come and gone.
“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”
Galatians 6:9 (AMP)
Like I mentioned earlier that is an excerpt from the Devotional that I find that I still need to hear years after I wrote it, so I hope it helps you!
If you are interested finding out more about it or getting an audio or kindle version, head over here!
P.S. While the book sales do help me feed my family, we donate 34% of all profits to Compassion International: a great Christian organization changing lives. So if you pickup a copy, know that your dollars are impacting the world!