It is summertime in Houston, Texas, and it is hot. However, this season yields my favorite fruit—peaches, watermelon, nectarines! I’m so grateful for the faithful farmers who provide these farm-to-table treats for me.
I say that, but seldom do I really think about what they do. Each season the outcome of their labor is unpredictable. I imagine they stay well-informed about methods and potential obstacles to yielding good crop. But disciplines like hard work and steadfast attention to their plantings carryover year to year. Farmers plant, water, fertilize, watch for growth, weed, watch for disease or harmful weather, implement protective or preventative measures and I’m sure plenty of them pray. They can’t control the weather or eradicate every disease. Along the way and over the years, they learn, adjust, process their disappointment or discouragement and press on. Ever hopeful.
Watching for and appreciating each sign of encouragement.
We can learn a bit from farmers: To appreciate evidence of God’s growth and protection. Steadfast attention to our role. Process disappointment and discouragement. Press on.
Have you ever watched for full-grown fruit the day after introducing a concept or correcting a child? I have. Some days I expected the fruit to pop out a few hours later.
“I explained clearly how I want you to do that. Now, you’ve even had a consequence for disobeying. What part do you not understand?”
…Yeah, no fruit-growing on my tree either that day.
Patience, kindness, self-control, gentleness… Fruit that God grows in me because He loves me AND as I chose to walk in relationship with Him. I love God and I want to obey, but more times that I want to admit, I don’t. Thankfully, He encourages me when I do; I sense it.
Our children love us. The younger ones under our roof want to obey us. The grown ones desire to honor us as they live their lives. It’s hard – just like it’s hard for us.
Watch for hints of growth…
a bud – She didn’t talk back at all today.
a sprout – They got along all day.
a new leaf – He said he regrets that decision he made.
Be encouraged. Thank God. Encourage the child. Pray often, asking and trusting God to help our child and us. Celebrate sweet evidences that God is at work.
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1.9-11)