I was three years old when we moved to our little house in North Matewan. There was a young tree growing on the left side of our house that, for years, was just a trunk and branches and leaves. It was said that it was a chestnut tree; but yet, there was no fruit. When I was 10 or 11 years old, green burry-looking pods came out all over and that fall, the most beautiful, huge, sweet, crunchy chestnuts you ever saw were inside. I was thrilled and from that year forward, looked forward to picking them off the ground and taking them next door for Grandpa and me to peel and eat.
It took some time for those chestnuts to prove that the tree was indeed a chestnut tree, but you know something? It was still a chestnut tree. From the moment the first little green sprout popped through the ground up until the day my Dad cut it down. There were chestnut trees on the hillsides and in other parts of the neighborhood, but none had the quality of fruit that this lone little tree wound up bearing. Yep…the same tree whose identity seemed questionable for the greater part of my childhood.
My point? We spend way too much time analyzing one another and looking for fruit whose time has not yet come. Lighten up and love the people around you! Entrust them into God’s hands because whatever He created us to be, that potential is deep inside of all of us from conception. Pray, be patient, be a good example, and never make that person feel as if your approval is some unattainable goal; forcing it can stunt his or her growth and delay the fruit even longer!
We have the assurance in God’s Word that when we train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it. I meditated on that yesterday and thought about this: it says, “when he is old.” Give those in-between years to God and pray a hedge of protection around your children. They may have several years in their lives when they are unproductive or even producing BAD fruit…but you just keep sowing into them. Keep being that example. Keep telling them how good they are and how pleased you are with them. Keep speaking truth in love, but never speak things over your children that declare something negative: you will get exactly what you speak. Keep pleading the blood of Jesus over them. One day, the pods will open and the fruit will be exactly what it was ordained to be.
Peace, love, and light to all of you on this Monday.