One of the things I LOVE about summertime in the good old San Joaquin valley is FRUIT! About this time of year we have fruit coming out our ears, dropping off the trees and filling the kitchen. Farming is in our family's blood. My dad, grandfather and great-grandfather are/were farmers and Lowell's grandfathers were farmers too, so it only makes sense that on our little (almost) half acre lot we have 14 different kinds of fruit growing, not counting the tomatoes, peppers, squash and other stuff in our summer veggie garden.
But my point in telling you all this is not too impress you with our green thumbs. There IS such a thing as TOO much fruit. When you can't eat or freeze it or make jam or give it away fast enough, it just goes to waste. But there's actually an even greater danger. Too much fruit can break the tree branches.
When I was out picking peaches last week I was reminded of HOW IMPORTANT it is for me to let God prune me. Thinning out the activities of my life--even ones that appear fruitful!--is essential for my survival and my ability to continue to produce even better fruit. A while ago God did just that and I'm so glad I didn't fight to keep holding on when He told me to LET GO. There is also the reality that things sometimes have to die so the seeds can be planted and new things can grow from them.
How sad would it be if we were so determined to protect a particulary beautiful peach--so we left it on the tree as long as possible, protecting it from bugs and birds, and when it was so soft (and over-ripe) that it was about to fall off we picked it and brought it into the house to keep protecting it and we just kept it and kept it. Do you know what fruit smells like when it's started rotting??? It's so much better to either eat the fruit or let it drop and let the seed grow something new.
Well, I'm rambling a bit, but I feel so strongly that so many Christians are so busy being busy that we don't realize our branches are about to break (if they haven't already) because we are too busy bearing fruit that God wants us to let go of. In John 15 Jesus makes it quite clear that any branch that bears fruit needs to be pruned so it can be even more fruitful. Pruning is painful. But it is oh so necessary if we want to live fruitful lives.
Now, go eat a peach, or come get a plum or some cherry tomatoes from my house--before they're all gone! : )
Blessings to you today!