"Those who trust in the Lord will be blessed...
They will be strong like trees planted near a stream
that send out roots to the water.
They have nothing to fear when the days get hot.
Their leaves are always green.
They never worry, even in a year that has no rain.
They always produce fruit."
Here in my neck of the woods, it is apple harvest season. The local apple orchards are buzzing with business, packed with folks whose mouths have been watering to sink their teeth into one of those fresh-picked beauties. I know...because my hubby and I were one of the hundreds who milled through the orchard, waited for hayrides, got lost in the corn maze, or stood in line for warm apple donuts this weekend!! Yum!!!
As we meandered our way through the orchards, there were several times we just had to stop and shake our heads! The trees were so heavy-laden with fruit we could hardly believe our eyes.
Perhaps my memory is failing me, but, I honestly can't remember seeing the trees quite like this in the past. Many of the branches were so loaded down with their bounty, they nearly touched the ground!
Imagine it! Apples hanging in clusters... like grapes! It really was a sight to marvel at and take pictures of!
And the fragrance! Woo-hoo! That sweet, cidery smell hung heavy in the crisp autumn air like the smell of my sister-in-law Mary's fresh apple pie baking in the oven.
I think we can learn a thing or two from these amazing fruit-bearers. For one thing, those apple trees have absolutely no control, from one year to the next, what weather the winds will blow in. Some years all the conditions come together to produce an abundance. Yet, other years, an early freeze can nip the very blossoms that hold such promise of fruit. However, if the orchard is planted by a fresh, living water source, the trees can often rally despite the inhospitable conditions life throws at them.
We, too, have absolutely no control over what tomorrow may bring. But, if we are planted in God, our fresh, living water source, life will bubble up and into us from our roots, giving us the sustenance, nourishment and strength to hold on even when an early freeze threatens to wreak havoc.
So, then, how are your branches faring these days? Are they getting all the nourishment they need? What would people find hanging from them if they walked through the orchard of your life? Would they find branches heavy-laden with the fruit-shriveling cares and concerns of life, or would they discover instead, clusters nearly touching the ground with the overabundance of loving acts, peace-filled words, and prayers lifted on behalf of others? Would there be sweet fruits of joy and hope that blossom forth regardless of what the weather blows in? And what of the aroma that wafts through the air in the little patch where God has planted you? Does it sour or sweeten the atmosphere around you?
I'm hoping the scent radiating from me is like my sister-in-law Mary's fresh apple pie baking in the oven! :o)