One day, the Lord approached me. “I’d like you to play a role in my story,” He said.
“Wow, me? What can I do?” I said.
“I’ve picked you to glorify Me. I’ll guide your every step. Here,” He held out my worn leather Bible. “This contains everything you need to know to shine in your part.”
I opened it to John 15:8 (NASB) and read, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit.” That’s just what the Lord said He wanted. I’d better get busy.
So, I began my list of what I would do to bear fruit. I’ll write a Bible study and teach it to others. That will bear fruit.
I was busy, but I wasn’t making much progress. A small leak at my kitchen sink brought a month of interruptions. And that was just the beginning. I would soon have to pack up everything on the main level and move out for a week.
My dog got sick. That meant more visits to the vet and time spent in research on his condition. People were twenty minutes late for appointments. The phone kept interrupting my work. Each call required two more calls.
I got up early one morning and prepared a cup of carrot-beet juice to get me going. I heard a thud as I returned to the kitchen carrying my laptop. My youngest dog stood over the liquid mess. “Cosette!” Her brown eyes looked at me quizzically, and I read her thoughts. You drink this stuff? The floors needed mopping, but I hadn’t gotten up early on a Saturday to clean the floors.
This was not going like I’d hoped. I wanted to bear fruit. But, if bearing fruit meant being productive, I’d failed. I read the passage again: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit” (John 15:5, NIV).
How could I have missed this? Fruitfulness comes from staying connected to Jesus, not from being busy for Him. Bearing fruit doesn’t depend on if or when my ideas are accomplished.
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My fictional story is filled with fact. God didn’t show up and ask me to have a role in His story, and yet He has called you and me to play parts in His eternal narrative. We are called to glorify Him.
If you’re like me, you may have confused a sense of productivity with fruitfulness. It is easy to view time we’ve set aside as “our time.” Yet, making Christ Lord, includes accepting His lordship over our time. I can’t create time. I can only schedule it. Yet, my best plans don’t stop circumstances beyond my control from intruding. But, interruptions don’t have to thwart fruitfulness. My life glorifies Christ and bears fruit when I stay connected to Him.
I’m sure the fruit of the Spirit was included in the fruit Jesus mentioned in this passage. I would certainly welcome a bumper crop of this fruit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23, NASB).
This week I didn’t accomplish my list. But, when I rested in Christ, I experienced peace and patience—not natural Debbie-traits. Maybe, just maybe, God accomplished His list for me.
Your opinion, please.
My Bible study is on entering God’s rest. It gives God’s perspective on ten areas that can cause us to fret. I need help with the title. Here are some options that have been considered. I’d love to have your thoughts.
- Your Invitation to Rest
- Give Yourself a Break—Discovering God’s Rest when You Want to Fret
- Give Yourself a Break—Refresh Yourself with an Eternal Perspective
- For the Rest of Your Life—Seeing Life from God’s Perspective.
- Sometimes You Just Need to Wear Pajamas All Day—Discovering God’s Rest
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Deborah W. Wilson
Mark your calendars. Ladies, my daughter Ginny will be leading a ten week summer Bible study that will begin on Tuesday, June 3rd. They meet from 7 – 9 in the evenings and will use my study, Little Women—Big God.
Photo by: Audrey