John 15:16 says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit-fruit that will last-and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you.”
At the beginning of the summer I planted my very first tomato plant in a pot and put it on my back deck. I was thrilled because one of my favorite summer foods is a good homegrown tomato!
I watered the plant pretty well at first, but it was raining so much I decide to let God water it and take care of the plant for me… As sweet as that sounds, it is just a fluffy phrase for laziness. The day came mid-June and my tomato plant had produced the first tomato of the summer! I was so excited and pulled it off and ate it. The tomato was ok, not the best, but I was satisfied with it.
As the month went by, I began to notice the plant looked like death. It became yellow in appearance with shriveled up leaves, I did not know what to do. I replanted it in the pot because it was beginning to fall over. Over time the plant grew worse and I continued to rely on the rain. Now, here I am in August with an semi-dead tomato plant which only produced one fruit in 3 months.
I got two take aways from this.
1: The Dry Season – Sometimes we are following the Lord and there are seasons in our lives where we do not see the evidence of the fruit. However, we are to press through and lean into the Lord knowing He sees our hearts. (1 Samuel 16:7)
2: The Lazy Christian – Sometimes we accept Jesus’ work on the cross and then leave Him there. We simply ignore the call to carry His cross in our lives. (Matthew 16:24) Instead of investing in a relationship and responding to Him, we avoid intimacy and expect our lives to bear fruit; when indeed if we are not getting spiritually fed from God and His Word, we have nothing to give.
I do not know if you can relate to either one of these metaphors, but I know that there have been times in my life when I have related to both. The fact is, my tomato plant out back is not too far gone, I can go fight for it to thrive and produce fruit. Jesus is waiting for you with open arms to respond to His call and if you are in the midst of a dry season, remember He has not left you and the rain will come. (Deuteronomy 31:8)