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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bearing Fruit in a Drought

I was reminded of Jeremiah 17:7-8 this Sunday during the sermon. It says:

7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

I am definitely one who wears his heart on his sleeve. If something is weighing on me, I don't do well to hide it. I'm not prone to anger, so it's not that kind of thing. I just tend not to be the joking, inviting type of guy I am under normal circumstances. I've been pretty much like that for the past week or so.

Last week was challenging, emotionally. Thanksgiving was special, as
usual. However, it was difficult to see my mom's ever deteriorating health. It was also tough because I know she is concerned about me. Hey, I'm her baby, no matter how old I may be. As much as a mom as she is, when she calls me and tells me that the Lord woke her up to pray for me, I don't even try to play things off as if they're fine. I've learned that I can fool my mom when she's being Mom, but there's no point when she's being my sister in the Lord. Despite her failing and withering body, she bears fruit to this very day.

All weekend, I knew I was going to have to be ready for Sunday. I was scheduled to be on the worship team, and I would be leading a song called Say So. Some
of the lyrics to the song are these:

What does it mean to be saved?
Isn't it more than just a prayer to pray?
More than just a way to heaven?
What does it mean to be His?
To be formed in his likeness?
Know that we have a purpose.

To be salt and light in the world,
in the world.
To be salt and light in the world.

Chorus:
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, say so, say so!

You can't "fake it til ya make it" with this song. This is a song about relationship over religion. It's not about formulas to reach a destination. We have a purpose. To be salt and light to the world. To, as described in Jeremiah 17, bear fruit no matter what the conditions are around us. There is great power in our words. When we, the redeemed, declare our redemption, it can't help but lift our spirits. When we encourage those around us to rise above their circumstances, we're bearing fruit. We're fulfilling our purpose of being salt and light.

I still find myself thinking of my little girls, Samantha, Felicity and Molly, from the show. I remember how sweet and special it was to get hugs from them. Samantha, in particular, loves to sit on my lap. Even though she's not really my daughter, there is such a feeling of warmth and trust when a child wants to just share space with you. It makes me wonder how much more God loves it when we want to share space with Him.

I don't know what tomorrow holds. I just can't control it. What I can control is how I let circumstances affect me. I don't want to stop bearing fruit. In fact, I want to bear more fruit. So many in this world can only look to themselves, or they look to the government to help them. I'm so thankful that above all that, I have a relationship with the most-high God. In Him I am redeemed. In Him my hope is secure. In Him I place my trust.

I don't care that winter is approaching. It's time to grow some fruit!

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