By Jessica Van Roekel, Crosswalk.com
A Prayer about Growing Fruit
By Jessica Van Roekel
Snow-covered fields, leafless trees, and skies laden with steel gray clouds describe the view out my window. It’s wintertime, and frost covers everything. It penetrates the ground, and farmers discuss how deep the frost line goes and how it impacts next spring’s fieldwork. The wind drives snowflakes like tiny needles piercing the sky. The cold reaches deep into my bones, and I struggle to stay warm. If I were a bear, I would sleep away winter. But I am not a bear. I am a human, designed to live and bring glory to God through every season.
The power of winter in the physical world allows the ground to rest so that in the growing season, it can do what God designed it to do—produce life. We also produce life. We can speak life with our words and bring life with our actions. But there’s a season for rest too.
Too often, we view the beginning of a new year with an eye to growth and transformation. While this is a noble pursuit, we also ebb and flow with the seasons. Sometimes, we have seasons where it doesn’t seem like any growth or change happens. Our lives look barren. The landscape in our hearts reveals desolation. We can try harder and work smarter, but the emptiness remains.
The emptiness can frighten us if that’s the only thing we focus on. We give up on our transformational journey too soon because we don’t see the results we want to see as quickly as we hoped. But just as winter reveals a tree’s branches, our personal winters reveal our structure too. This can make us feel vulnerable, which is why we sometimes shy away from spiritual winters. There is a time to bear fruit and there is a time to harvest fruit. There is also a time of rest so that more fruit can grow.
The Fruits of the Spirit are the characteristics of a God-centered, spiritually focused lifestyle. The Holy Spirit produces and develops this fruit in Christians who surrender to the direction and influence of God. Through the Spirit’s power, we can enjoy the benefits of our personal relationship with him. Sometimes surrender means we enter a winter season where our hearts experience a preparation for the fruit God will grow in us.
These character qualities—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—take time to develop. They grow as we practice them over and over. Love looks like a willingness to make personal sacrifices for the cause of Christ and the benefit of others. What can you do today to show that kind of love?
Joy is the inner sense of gladness not based on feelings but based on the love and grace given to those who belong to Christ. Peace is the inner calm and contentment of a right relationship with God and knowing that God has everything under control. Patience is the ability to wait without becoming angry or upset. Kindness involves active consideration for others. Goodness is a trait that causes someone to do what is right and beneficial for others. Faithfulness is unwavering loyalty and devotion to following through on one’s commitments. Gentleness acts mercifully and appropriately. Self-control is the discipline of mastering one’s desires and emotions.
We will have seasons where we feel as though we’re missing this fruit in our lives. Instead of gentleness, we respond with harshness. Rather than self-control, we choose to self-indulge. Peace disappears in the face of worries. It can feel like our previous growth faded like autumn colors giving way to the monochromatic colors of winter.
In these moments, we can pause. We can rest and trust that God hasn’t given up on us. He still has fruit to grow in us. When we choose to rest and trust, God works in the soil of our hearts to prepare us for the next harvest of fruit.
A Prayer about Growing Fruit
Oh Lord, you are the one in whom my soul finds its delight. You place your Holy Spirit within me so that I can be a light to those around me and bring glory to you. Sometimes it feels like my heart is as desolate as a barren, windswept winter field. But I choose to trust you. I choose to believe that even if I can’t see growth, you are growing fruit in me so that you can use me to bless others. I give you glory, and I wait on you in this season.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Tatiana Dvoretskaya
Jessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.
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