This is not a fruitful season right now in my garden. Each year we put in tons of sweat equity and take our command seriously to rule and subdue the earth in the spring and summer. However, when it comes to fall and winter, we let things go wild, and the garden goes dormant. There's not much growing, only some wildflowers, and what is left looks tired and weary after giving all its strength to the primary growing seasons.
I know that there are things that grow and flourish in the fall and winter - our neighbors prove that to us with their beautiful winter garden every year - but we just don't choose to take advantage of that growing season and the bounty that would be available.
A few weeks ago, I was clipping some of those last remaining wildflowers in the garden. Next to a beautiful blooming flower was a plant (totally unidentifiable at this point) that had fallen over, uprooted, and died in a recent storm. The juxtaposition of the beautiful blooming wildflower still doing what it was created to do right next to a very dead plant was the place of the pause that day.
The Lord showed me the reality of the simple principle that in order to bear fruit, you have to stay planted.
This simple visual was a great reminder to me to stay planted:
In the Word of God
In the things of God
With the people of God
In the purposes of God
In the house of God
Not only that, it's not enough to be next to fruitfulness - you have to experience being planted for yourself. The dead plant in my garden wasn't fruitful simply because it was near something that was. This is true in our own lives and the relationships we keep. Just because we are friends with people who are flourishing doesn't mean that we are - and vice versa. Our growth, or lack thereof, is our personal responsibility.
There is year-round fruitfulness available in our lives if we choose to keep ourselves planted. In the same way we made the choice not to take advantage of the fall and winter growing season in our garden, you can actually choose not to bear fruit! However, if we purposefully choose to take advantage of staying planted in the things of God - continually - we can constantly be bearing fruit in our lives, no matter the season we find ourselves in.
As believers, it's our responsibility to keep ourselves planted so that we don't miss a moment of all He wants to do in us. It's our job to be as fruitful as possible so that we can share with the world the beauty of all God wants to grow in our lives and all He wants us to become.
"But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper" - Psalm 1:2-3 (TLB)