Canning in the summer months was once part of many American households. When my mother was a girl in the 1940’s, her mother had a large garden that helped to feed five children throughout the cold Illinois winters. My grandmother spent a week each summer as the season waned, canning jars of fruits and vegetables in her basement. She filled Mason jars with apples, green beans, beets, tomatoes, and corn, all grown in the family’s backyard garden.
My mother would pull her red wagon to the corner A&P grocer to purchase more cans and supplies when needed. She was also the main caretaker for her younger siblings during canning week. The process took hours to complete and had to be done right in order to preserve the bounty for safe eating.
Some years the garden was more failure than success, producing few crops due to bug infestations or hot, dry weather. Thankfully, canned goods were available for purchase at the corner store and nearby orchards offered reasonably priced apples, cherries, and melons.
Fruits and vegetables depend on good soil, sunshine, and proper watering to be healthy. Our actions are the fruit in our lives. They come forth from seeds in our heart. And just as fruits and vegetables depend upon good soil, sunshine, and proper watering to be healthy, good fruit in our lives comes only when we abide in Christ, the Vine:
“Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can’t do a thing. If anyone separates from me, he is thrown away like a useless branch, withers, and is gathered into a pile with all the others and burned.” John 15:5-6
What separates us from the Lord? One thing that brings separation is pride. When we try to do something in our own power we suffer from a prideful heart, thinking we can do it on our own. But the warning is clear; when we seek our own ways, our attempts will end in uselessness. We all produce some type of fruit in our lives–will yours be the lasting kind? You can be assured that it will if God is your Gardener!