My friend, may I ask you a question? What defines the seasons of a Christian life? Is it what is apparent or is it something subtle? Is Godly success measured by what we do or how we do it? Does God define success by the apparent strength of our roots and boughs; or by the fruit that we bear because of these?
Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
Each year as the seasons change, so does the selection of fruit that’s available at my local Piggly Wiggly. In early sum- mer there are the tangy apricots and sweet plums along with nutty peaches and nectarines. As summer passes, though, so do the fruits. By late summer the crispness, even the flavor of these is waning and it’s time to switch to something more in swing with the season. Now the succulent oranges and crisp pears arrive and they take the stage right into autumn. Then, as quickly as they come, they are gone and my eyes turn to Jonathan, Granny Smith and Rome apples; everything in its season, everything in its appointed time. For me, the seasons are defined as much by what I subtly witness in the Piggly Wiggly produce department as what’s apparent on the pages of my wall calendar.
What defines the seasons of a Christian life? Is it what is apparent or is it something subtle?
Here’s a story: Clarence Jordan was a man of unusual abilities and commitment. He had two Ph.D.’s. So gifted was he, he could have chosen to do anything he wanted. He chose to serve the poor. In the 1940’s, he founded a farm in Americus, Georgia, and called it Koinonia Farm. It was a community for poor whites and poor blacks. As you might guess, the idea didn’t go over well in the Deep South of the ‘40s. In 1954, the Ku Klux Klan had enough of Clarence Jordan, so they decided to get rid of him. They came one night with guns and torches and set fire to every building on Koinonia Farm but Clarence’s home, which they riddled with bullets. The next day, a reporter came out to see what remained. He found Clarence in the field, hoeing and planting. “Well, Dr. Jordan,” stated the reporter, “you got two of them Ph.D.’s and you’ve put 14 years into this farm, and there’s nothing left. Just how successful do you think you’ve been?” Clarence stopped hoeing, turned toward the reporter and said quietly, “About as successful as the cross. Sir, I don’t think you understand us. What we are about is not success but faithfulness. We’re staying.” (Source Unknown.)
The hoeing and the planting: If we just keep the hoe and the seed before us, success will be a measure not of our skills or our intelligence. Rather, it will be measured by our faithfulness in persevering. The Bible tells us that you and I are like “a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season” (Psalm 1:3). God defines success not by the apparent strength of our roots and boughs. Rather, He defines our success by the fruit that we bear because of these. He sees the seasons of our lives by our fruits of faith and not by the calendar of our days. Godly success isn’t measured by what we do by how we do it. It’s the subtleties of the measure our faith that reveals our goodness. It’s the fruit and not the tree.
We pray. Heavenly Father, Lord, You are always faithful to us. Your Word shows us time and again, that You are faithful. We confess, we are a faithless people. We are prone to wander, as the hymn says. Forgive us Lord. Teach us what it means to be faithful to You, to Your Word, and to Your church. Even when life threatens us, may we remain faithful to Your Word, always willing to sacrifice, knowing that You are faithful and we will always be upheld by Your grace and mercy. Give us steadiness as we follow You. Teach us to be faithful in the small, simple acts of faith as the early church was. In Jesus Name! Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.