Lessons from the Blueberry Patch

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It’s blueberry season, and we are harvesting blueberries from the blueberry patch at our home. As I have spent time plucking these blue jewels off my bushes the past several weeks, I have been reflecting on the many spiritual lessons found in my little blueberry patch:

Fruit comes from the root.

The reason our blueberry bushes can produce such an abundant harvest this year is that our bushes finally have a strong root system after many years of growth. Droughts have forced the roots to dig deep into the soil. Rains have nurtured and strengthened the root system. The passing seasons have fashioned a strong foundation of roots to support the bushes and produce their fruit.

We experience a similar development in our spiritual lives. Any spiritual fruit—any product of our lives that honors God, serves Him, and accomplishes His divine purposes—comes from our relationship with Him. The Lord produces the fruit after we sink our roots deep into the soil of His love and grace. The trials in our lives give us the opportunity to dig deeper in our relationship with the Lord, to seek Him more and to choose to believe and obey Him, to rely on His power and not our own. The water of His Word (Ephesians 5:26) helps our relationship with the Lord to grow and thrive. Choosing to walk with Him over time creates strong roots that produce bountiful fruit.

Fruit takes time.

Blueberry bushes do not produce fruit for several years. In fact, it took our bushes 3 years to yield their first bumper crop. Most blueberry bushes require 2 to 3 years before they are mature and established enough to bear fruit. Horticulturalists even recommend pulling off any flowers that appear on the bushes during the first one or two growing seasons, to encourage the blueberry bushes to concentrate their growth on the foliage and root systems. In other words, don’t rush the fruit-bearing!

In a spiritual sense, the Lord takes us through certain seasons in life where He is doing something that will produce fruit at a later time. The foundational growth, development, and maturing help ensure strong and abundant fruit later. Occasionally, when I am picking blueberries, I pull off a green berry that is not yet mature. That fruit isn’t as good as it could have been if I had left it on the branch to continue to grow. I don’t want to rush what the Lord is doing in my life. I want whatever fruit He is producing to be the mature fruit He intended.

There are different types of fruit.

Blueberries come in many different varieties. We have big fat blueberries on some of our bushes and tiny, sweet blueberries on others. We are almost finished harvesting the plumpest berries, while the small berries are still maturing on the branches. We took the advice of the county extension office and planted two varieties of blueberries in our patch so they could cross-pollinate one another and produce these two different harvests.

In the same way, the Lord works in each of our lives to produce different kinds of fruit. We are different in the body of Christ, and the Lord intended it that way. Each of us is necessary and important, and He uses us to bless and encourage one another. We help one another to grow and thrive (1 Corinthians 12). We should allow Him to produce the fruit He desires and not think that our fruit should be like anyone else’s. It is simply a blessing to be growing in His garden.

Question: How have you experienced the Lord growing fruit in your life? Comment at the link below.

Susan Jane King

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