The word "fruitful" means to produce. And what is produced is meant to be good, useful, and abundant.
With any production comes a lot of pressure, responsibility, and an awful lot of doing. Or so I always thought.
But if that's all "fruitful" is then the ability to produce becomes all about me and what I do or don't do. Sounds like a trap, especially for someone like me, who has believed for a long time that my value comes from what I do.
I have thankfully come to see that fruitful is so much more.
When I think of something that is fruitful, I think of an apple tree. But an apple tree doesn't have to do anything special to be fruitful. It just has to be a tree. A healthy tree. It grows where it's planted. It weathers the seasons. And when it's time, it bears the fruit it was created to grow.
And then I read this, by Max Lucado:
"Your job is not to bear fruit. Your job is to cling to Jesus. He is the vine, you are the branch. Hold on to Him and fruit will happen."
Such a freeing statement. We may desire to live fruitful lives, but it is not our job to produce the fruit.
The fruit I was created to bear is already inside of me. I need only be me. The healthiest, best me I can be. And He will produce the fruit.
No pressure. Nothing I can do.
This is what I have learned this year. To stop trying so hard to achieve, to be found useful. And when I rest in Him, I care for myself better. I stop beating myself up for not being enough.
May we stop all our own doing so we are free to bear the fruit God created us to bear.
May we find contentment in our fruit, whether it's a shiny, golden apple or a juicy, red tomato, or a plum or a pear or an orange.
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