Fruitfulness After a Difficult Season
Some seasons are harder than others. But God is faithful in all of them.
When I was a child, my family lived not far outside of Washington D.C. Though many decades have passed I have never forgotten the sight of thousands of cherry trees in full blossom during Spring along the banks of the Potomac River near the Washington Monument. It was not until many years later that I learned that those gorgeous pink flowers cannot come forth unless the trees have first been “chilled” in the depth of a cold winter. If a cherry tree experiences an unseasonably warm winter, its buds will not burst forth with beautiful pink blossoms until they have experienced a deep chill. Similarly, there are some things in your life that will never come forth without having passed through a difficult or “chilling” season.
The truth is that we don’t gain the same insights in the bountiful seasons as we do in the hardest seasons of life. How we respond to a difficult season will determine if the fruit it eventually produces is sweet or bitter. God fully intends for our lives to produce good fruit - but Jesus explained in John 15:5 that this is not possible without “abiding in Him.”
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
To “abide” means to remain joined or to stay united. The person who stays united or remains joined to Christ is the one who will be fruitful in his life. Yet many people pull away from God when they go through a painful season, questioning His goodness and His love. During the difficult season we must not separate ourselves from God but instead press in closer! The Passion Translation of John 15:5 reads this way:
I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches.
As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—
but when you live separated from me you are powerless.
When we pull away from God, we disconnect from our power source. We are rendered powerless. Don’t allow a challenging season to stumble you and cause you to pull away and question God’s love for you. Instead, tell the Lord, “I don’t understand what is happening in this season…but I choose to trust You and Your love for me. I choose to believe you will pull me through. I refuse to question Your goodness. I choose to press in closer to You and I believe you will bring forth good fruit out of this season in my life.”
Then, in such difficult times I always like to pray the prayer that King David wrote when he was hiding from his enemies in a cave:
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.
Psalm 57:1 NKJV
Some seasons are harder than others, but it is God’s heart that the fruit that is produced in your life after a difficult season will be outstanding. Just like the cherry tree after it has gone through a chilling winter, you will discover that the blossoms produced are beautiful and the fruit is sweet.