Sometimes you plant a seed and the next day there is a green sprout emerging from the earth. Sometimes it takes 5 years. This is what happened with my pineapple plant. Five years ago, we cut the tops off of 2 pineapples that we bought and stuck them in the ground, having been told they grow into a plant. Sure enough they grew huge but failed to give any fruit. Each year we waited and waited. No fruit.
That is until this year. Someone gave me a hint of how to speed up the process or help out our little plants that seemed to have lacked enough of something to make their fruit. (If you are that person, thank you and so, sorry I forgot who. :) She told me to stick an apple core right in the middle of the plant....sure enough. Two beautiful pineapple started growing. As I stand and water these babies each morning, a thought struck me.
So often, we get in our ruts and it seems that we are at a standstill. We are being watered. We are getting plenty of sun. We are huge plants with long, green leaves. We look healthy from all accounts. But we lack fruit. We need an infusion. We lack passion. We need to examine ourselves. We need God's Word to infiltrate our inner souls. He offers everything we need to produce this fruit. We must if we are His children.
It also reminds me of parenting. The long road of parenting. Wouldn't it be nice if we spoke to our children and poof!! Obedience appears! First time obedience at that. The hard heads are gone. The hearts are soft. But often it takes years for us to see if the fruit is there and when it appears it isn't quite the size of my beautiful pineapple. It is a little dried up grape. I am reminded that this process takes perseverance and patience. It takes the power of prayer. It takes unconditional love. It takes Christ's ability in us to not give up. Believing that He is the Father of the Fruit! For He is the One producing in us the fruit.
After I harvest these beautiful spiked fruit, I will prune some of the dead dry fronds around the base of the plant. This will help it stay healthy and hopefully, help it to produce in a more efficient way. Again, this is a process that may seem painful to the plant but will spur on growth. My Gardener does this in my life in so many ways. Trials that don't seem to be disappearing in a manner that I would like. Rejection of those I love with all my heart. Anxiety that wakes me in the middle of the night. When these arise, I turn to my Gardener and very often desire to say, "OK. Enough already." But I am reminded that these hard times are the very ones that produce the fruit He desires to see in me. He must strip away all the dead leaves. He must prune. He must cut as close to the base as possible. But I trust He knows best.
For He created me and knows my every thought and He deems what is best.
I trust. I trust. I trust. (I don't always. So I say this in faith that will hopefully become a reality.)