It took all summer. In September our garden finally started producing vegetables…zucchini, tomatoes, onions, carrots, pumpkins, and one cucumber! The fine planting and weeding by our son Kevin paid off! And little helper Joel was there to check the progress each day. Now we can delight in the fruits of our labor with zucchini cookies and muffins, chili with tomatoes and onions, fresh carrots in our lunches, and soon…pumpkin pie!
But could we enjoy these fruits in May when we were preparing the soil, or in June when Kevin first planted them? No. Could we savor this produce in July when the weather finally got warm, or in August when it was really hot? No, our plants were too slow. When are we appreciating these fruits? In the fall when the growing season is over.
It reminds me of the time I prayed over this verse from Galatians 5:22-23. Each month I asked God to nurture a new fruit in me…love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Each month I waited for results, but couldn’t see any. I shouldn’t have been discouraged, though. Like our garden vegetables, the fruit of the Spirit may take all summer.
In the fall of my life the fruits may be ready to pick. Perhaps along the way friends will see a bud of hope here and there. But by fall I will finally shine with Jesus’ love to others, sharing the joy and peace He gives me. I will be patient and kind, good and faithful, gentle, and always under control. Until then, I need to be patient with myself (and pray others will be patient, too), waiting for the fall fruits Jesus will bring in me.
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)