It's finally spring. The April showers are falling and I hear that on the mainland, things are beginning to grow and bloom. Living in Hawaii all my life, it's hard for me to imagine a time of year where most everything dies off and has to start all over again. That just doesn't happen here.
Where I live, plant life is always growing full force. Yards must be mowed, weeds must be pulled, trees must be trimmed, and something is always blooming. The city doesn't have seasonal maintenance crews. They work year-round. I imagine they start at one end of the island, and by the time they reach the other end, it's time to start all over again. Hawaii is an environment of continual growth. I never have to wonder if it is the right time to plant something. I just plant it - and usually it grows. (If it doesn't, it's not the weather, its the gardener...) I guess that's just life in the tropics. We're close enough to the equator that we always have plenty of warm sunshine and lovely trade-wind showers. The perfect climate for life.
Do you see where I'm going with this? It got me thinking about these verses:
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
It's a challenge for me to think of making my life an environment where new life happens all the time, in every season. Just like in my natural world, I go through times of rain or times that are dry, but can something bloom even then? Even in the dry times, is there an area of my life that can produce fruit?
"Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine,
and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.
For apart from me you can do nothing." ~ Jesus
John 15:4-5 (NLT)
As a child of God, I have been made new. In my old nature, nothing would grow. All was dead. But now I am living in new life of the Spirit of God.
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own.
Our qualification comes from God.
He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant.
This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit.
The old written covenant ends in death;
but under the new covenant,
the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6 (NLT)
The secret to having life and producing much fruit is to remain in the Vine. A branch that is connected to the vine cannot help but produce fruit. It is a by-product of being attached. Living life with Jesus is like living in the tropics - living things can't help but thrive there.
It may not always be spring, but in Hawaii, there is always something beautiful ready to harvest. I'm striving to do the same!
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