In seasons of adversity, the pain and indignities suffered can sometimes feel overwhelming and pointless. In the last four years I have faced several hardships that I wasn’t sure I would survive, including the loss of a marriage and the death of a child. But even in these hard trials where nothing makes sense, I have found that God is faithful to use every single one to produce something deeper and sweeter in my life.
God often uses the natural aspects of my three-acre property to speak to me about how He is working in challenging, and sometimes devastating, situations in my life. A lovely example of this can be found in the many berry bushes that have cropped up on my property over the years.
I don’t plant berry bushes, I just let them show up and do their thing with the help of birds and other creatures. I used to gripe inwardly that my husband didn’t mow aggressively enough or didn’t clean up fallen trees on our property. But now I have amazing little habitats everywhere that produce black raspberries, wineberries, and blackberries.
A few years ago, we needed to have diseased trees removed after a whirlwind caused one to fall in our front yard. My husband called in a tree service, and I told them I wanted to keep the mulch created from grinding up the branches.
Prior to the tree work, I had discovered the first little patch of blackberries I had ever seen on our land. Unfortunately, the tree service decided to dump the enormous pile of mulch right on the berry patch! The next year the blackberries were nowhere to be found and I was truly disappointed. A year later, when a friend was helping me mow, they discovered that the blackberries had managed to not only grow through the mulch pile, but to spread and become an absolute bumper crop! Bushes just dripping with fruit!!
Where everything seemed hopeless and dead, abundant life had sprung up!
As I walked around the field today, picking another lavish offering of black raspberries, I thought how this bumper crop was probably the result of the hard winter we recently experienced. The nitrogen from heavy snows is a great boon to berry production. It made me think about the idea that hard trials in our lives are almost inevitably followed by great bearings of fruit in our lives. The hard things…the chopping down, the grinding, the piles of heaviness being dumped on us?
THEY PRODUCE AN ABUNDANCE OF GOOD FRUIT!
Are you in a hard place right now? Be sure that God is working behind the scenes to produce a great crop of fruit in your life through the trials and hardships you are facing.
“Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain…. Accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields….” ~Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
This blog was written by guest author, Paige M. Neuman. Paige is the Coordinator of the Consumer and Family Satisfaction Team in Bucks County, which is a program of Voice and Vision, Inc. You can read more about Paige on the Staff page of the Voice and Vision website.
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