Bearing Fruit

A few weeks ago while visiting family, I noticed something quite peculiar. There was a tree that appeared to be uprooted from the ground, yet the leaves were green and it was apparent that fruit was forthcoming. I was in awe. I was told that the tree was knocked over during the fall from a storm and no one disturbed it or rather had it removed because it continued to remain fruitful. My God! I could close this blog with the benediction right now. Do you hear me?! As the ministers say, “I won’t be before you long.” Have you ever experienced a storm that knocked you to your core? Or better still, knocked you completely off your foundation? I’m not referring to a bad Monday or a terrible week, but instead, significant loss, abnormal disappointment, frightening unbelief or tremendous sadness. You wonder if you will ever experience some sense of normalcy again. People expect you to continue to show up in the ways and manner by which they’ve become accustomed, familiar and dependent upon, when you on the other hand are trying to simply catch your next breath. I can recall times when I’ve felt like the tree. Standing tall, doing what is expected of me, minding my business and that of the Most High, when a storm completely took me out. I can tap back into those memories when I’ve felt as though I’ve been left abandoned on my side, wondering how I would have the strength to rise again. But God.

Return to the image. Recall that the tree is lying on its side appearing to be disconnected, but yet bearing fruit. John 15:4 affirms, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” I wonder the extent to which we remind ourselves of our grounded connection when we have the wind knocked out of us. The reason the tree continues to bear fruit is because it has remained connected to its foundation – even if it appears disconnected to the naked eye.

Whatever you must do in this moment to remain, withstand, to endure, to envision, to persevere, to sustain – do it through our Lord and Savior. We can bear fruit in unseasonable times, in uncertain times, in desperate times, when we remain in God, as God remains in us! I’m older now and when I physically fall down, it takes me a little longer to get up and recover. But also in my older age, when I spiritually fall down, it doesn’t take me as long to get and up and recover, because in God I am a fruit bearer, on my feet and on my side. There are certainly times by which I must remind myself; as well as offer gratitude to those who have ministered to me as make the fallen space my habitation. But God.

I don’t know what you are navigating, what you are carrying, what may be weighing you down on your side or even attempting to uproot you from your foundation, but whatever you must do to remain connected, do it! I know it’s not easy. This is the point in the sermon where I would hear someone shout, “Testify!” I am speaking from past, current and as long as I am living, soon to come experiences. You can, you must bear fruit from unfathomable circumstances! It is incumbent upon us, because we are not operating in our own strength, but instead through the divine vine. And there is absolutely nothing too hard for our God!