My branches are weary. They are heavy with fruit that has not ripened--
Like berries that grow to mammoth size yet have no taste.
My burden feels like it will never let go—never ripen. It is hard to see the sweetness of the fruit when the weight is so heavy.
Is the goodness I feel in these days, the pruning of the Lord? Is it the lightening of my load? The tension is heavy and hard. The weight bears down but just before the branch breaks under the weight, I am pruned and the heaviness lifts for a moment.
Is this ‘lifting’ the sweet fruit that is shared with others—my burden raised, as they taste the fruit of harvest?
What does it mean to bear fruit? I don’t want to have the largest crop. The cost is too high. Yet the harvest is great and lives are touched through my bounty. It is bounty born on the tides of pain and suffering.
The storms and winds have pounded the orchard and yet the trees and branches hold firm.
Today, the sun shines, pulling moisture from the ground to bring back balance after the relentless days of rain and darkness.
The Lord is my master gardener. He knows when I need to be tended and when I need to be left alone. He knows when the fruit is ripe and ready to eat. And he knows when it will be nourishing even though I try to eat or share it before it is sweet.
Sometimes I must taste the tartness.
My branches are strong. They will continue to grow and bear much fruit. Relish the rain and the sunshine for both are needed to nurture the orchard.