Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Fruit, not the kind you use in smoothie, but the kind that you see as a result of your work, is an interesting thing. Sometimes God chooses to reveal the fruit in your life, sometimes its just not the season. We all long to see the fruit of our work...it is the most joyful time and often puts meaning into all the labor.
Why does God choose to reveal fruit sometimes and not others? If we know anything about God is that His timing is always punctual. He knows when and His time is always with purpose.
I ponder upon all of this because lately I have been feeling rather bogged down by my life efforts working with youth. Working with youth is one of those things where fruit is desired, but seldom seen. The pressure to produce it is enormous and the passion behind the work is strong, but like with any human, it is ultimately the choice of the youth. I have seen many youth get very close to success, very close to overcoming great barriers and then again, very close doesn't count. Or does it?
There are days when I am in love with the youth - days when I am so proud of their accomplishments and rejoice in their growth. There are days when I want to rip my hair out and never go back to work again. Youth :)
I know God is looking at my situation and smiling. He lovingly, in the past month has given me glimpses of the fruit He has grown to full term, and has shown me how I have been a part of the growing process. Efforts made years ago have come to fruition and have been confirmed by those who have experienced the growth.
I say this not to boast, but rather to bring encouragement to you (and remind myself) that it does not take one to plant and bring a fruit to its maturity. It takes a team, it takes time, and mostly it takes God. Every small effort, every seed, every watering, every pruning, is all a part of the big picture and the big plan. Even as we are contemplating whether or not our efforts are making any difference, the Spirit is stirring. Perhaps years later you will hear how that kind word or random interaction you thought was forgotten and wasted, it may just come back and be revealed that it was that moment that made a big difference.
Its a beautiful complex reality that God created. I think He made it that way to keep us humble and completely depend and trust Him to see everything through to the end. I thank God for the fruit He does bless us to see, and also for the fruit we do not see. I thank God that He knows when to lift our spirit and how. I pray that I will not be bogged down with the "need" to see change and fruit all the time. Its not easy, but thankfully our Lord is much bigger than our imagination.