Last week I visited an apple orchard not (too) far from my house. It was a pretty drive out towards the mountains and the day was perfect. There is a house on top of a hill on the property with a full wrap-around porch overlooking the orchards. Add in some fresh apple cider and homemade apple donuts and you have the makings of a terrific afternoon. I wish I had taken photos. Sigh. I did share one from a friend on my IG today but I would love to have captured a shot of the trees. They were completely loaded with apples – to the point of bending over with the weight of totally full branches.
Different varieties. Different colors and a variety of tastes (give me all the sweet honey crisp apples)! But all of the trees were full of apples begging to be picked. Of course, no surprise really because that is what apple trees do….produce apples!! And as I sat there with my senior friends, sipping cider and getting a lap covered in sugar from those donuts, the lesson was not lost on me. As naturally as I expect apple trees to produce apples, fruit should be expected from me.
Here are some quick, maybe obvious, comparisons to remind myself of on this first day of October – when my thoughts often turn to all the bounty soon to be harvested this time of year:
1 – I was designed to produce specific fruit. Not only did the apple trees yield apples but each tree made the variety it was grown for. My fruit does not need to compare with anyone else’s fruit but simply needs to be sweetest (the best) that I am designed to produce. Ok, that was a mouthful but God’s word explains it:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
2 – If there is no fruit, it is the sign of a problem. Any tree in that orchard without a single apple would not only immediately stand out but it would be assumed the tree was either diseased or dead. Fruit should be expected – in orchards and in the lives of believers. It is natural.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
3 – No doubt, there was plenty of work that went into making that a successful orchard. I have no idea what all is involved in keeping apple trees healthy but I’m sure there is pruning involved. No one likes the idea of pruning or of correcting, but it is necessary and beneficial.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness……..” Hebrews 12:11
4 – The greatest purpose of my fruit is to glorify God. This comparison is a tiny bit trickier to make…but, when I am enjoying an apple (raw or in a donut!!), I do not think about the tree. It really isn’t about the tree. Any fruit seen, or even enjoyed by others, in my life is not about me. The ultimate purpose of any fruit is to bring glory to my savior. To honor Him.
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit…..” John 15:8a
I am praying to be fruitful this fall season. How about you??