The wild black raspberries growing in our backyard don’t need any help from us. They’re quite independent, spreading out a bit more and producing a slightly larger crop every year. This year we may get enough to try a jam recipe!
The thing is, the berries aren’t all ready for picking at the same time. Some are black and juicy, some smaller and bright red, and some are smaller still, mostly green with barely a hint of red showing.
How’s your crop of spiritual fruit? Just as the raspberries in one cluster are all on the same plant, so the fruit of the Spirit growing in your life is all “yours.” Your mom can’t grow it for you, your friend can’t grow it for you, and your pastor can’t even grow it for you. It grows in your life as you surrender to the Spirit’s work in your heart.
The spiritual fruit in your life is also not all at the same level of development. Just as the raspberries mature at different rates, so do the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). You may be the first person people think of when they hear the word “kind,” but your peace might still need a great deal of cultivation!
Thankfully it’s not all up to you. No need to fall off the wagon because you’re not producing a hundred fold crop in every area of your life today. God designed you, He sees your past, present and future, and He knows what the end result will be. He wants His best for you, and He is the master gardener. My raspberry bushes may not need my help to produce a crop, but my life desperately needs God’s tending, pruning and care. I’m so grateful to Him for what He is developing in me, one day at a time!
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:18)