In the backyard of my in-law’s house in Kenya is a huge avocado tree.
It produces avocados that average about 2 pounds each.
This varies largely in comparison to the tiny avocados that Stephen buys at Whole Foods in the States :)
My in-laws didn’t plant this tree, the former owners did.
Whenever they moved into the house and heard there was an avocado tree, they were a bit amazed as the tree was so little and didn’t produce any fruit.
My father-in-law asked a local gardener how to get the tree to produce fruit.
He was told to beat the tree with a bat or a stick.
I can only imagine what the neighbors must’ve thought when he went out to beat up the tree.
Shortly after the “beating”, the tree began to blossom for the first time. That was when they learned that these trees must be shocked in order to produce fruit.
This made me think about my walk with God.
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that praying for patience inevitably produces more opportunities for…patience right? Such as a traffic jam (which in Africa can be painfully long).
Well in my experience, there seems to be a place where when we go through trials and test that we have a chance to grow in the fruit of the spirit.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against sun there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”-Galatians 5:22-26
When you go into Christian bookstores and see jewelry and various other Christian items that have the fruit of the Spirit listed on there, the fruit appear simply and applicable to every believer’s life right?
There are even paintings of beautiful fruit baskets and cornucopia of fruit with Galatians 5 written on them.
I haven’t however seen huge warning signs or fine print attached to such beautiful gifts and decor that tell of what it took to produce that fruit.
Yet, that’s probably what should be written ;)
Let’s see long-suffering…what on earth does that mean?
What types of things would we walk through to produce that fruit in us? ::WHACK::
Kindness? What about that obnoxious neighbor who is completely disrespectful of anyone else but themselves? ::WHACK:: just a chance to grow in kindness.
I definitely think the picture of the avocado tree is a picture of us growing in the fruit of the Spirit.