The farm my dad was raised on during the years of the Great Depression didn’t have indoor plumbing, but it did have two beautiful apple trees in the front yard that gave the best yellow delicious apples ever. So enticing was the fall bounty that Dad would climb the trees for an apple whenever he felt hungry. Then on day his foot slipped and he fell to the ground, landing on his back. He lay there with the wind knocked out of him and decided in his dazed state that he would never climb the trees again, but would wait for the apples to fall. This idea lasted until autumn of the following year, when he could not resist the same climb to gather a few apples together. Luckily, he only fell the one time!
When I was little, our neighbor had a large cherry tree and often invited Mom over to pick. We knew the menu for those summer evenings would include fresh cherry pie. And just outside our little town were some of the best blueberry fields in northern Indiana. The bushes were as tall as many of the trees I’d seen. I remember eating handfuls of the berries once we got them home and washed them. Mom said I ate them like potato chips! Blueberries were my favorite fruit when I was little, partly because of my memories of picking them in the July heat and watching my mom wash them in a big colander and pass a few handfuls to me as she worked.
While God has given us the fruits of the trees to enjoy, His favorite fruits are surely the fruits produced by a life of obedience to and trust in Him:
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Trees and bushes produce what is natural to them, taking in the sun and rain that give life. As believers in Christ’s redemption offered to us, our lives can produce the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Fruits that bring life to us and those around us. Do you have the fruit of the Spirit?