Study this picture and you’ll see that is not a limb growing out of this tree, but it is an entirely different tree growing in a most difficult situation. Both trees are very old. The net fencing at the bottom of the tree was put there during my papaw’s time of farming. The barbed wire fencing has been nailed onto the tree over several decades. The top strand has actually grown into the persimmon tree over the past 30 years. I was curious why us farmers nailed the fencing to the small tree and not the much larger tree. That’s when I realized that the small persimmon tree was growing more upright. Poor little tree. Sure has and is taking a lot of abuse just to be able to live where it is.
What is amazing to me is that each year this persimmon tree bears a lot of fruit. Persimmons….. they don’t call it deer candy for nothing. The cows love them, as well as the horses, deer, and myself. This tree’s fruit is sweeter than most persimmons. But looking at this tree you would think that it would not amount to anything. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
It does make you wonder what kind of tree this would have been had it been planted somewhere all by itself, away from encroaching oak trees and farmers’ fence staples. It probably would be 50 feet tall, with uniform and gloriously spreading branches reaching in every direction. I think it would have had perfect limbs, perfect leaves and a bench under this perfect tree where people would come to sit and admire a perfect tree. It’s got its own website, social media, fan club, and bank account. A perfect tree in anyone’s book. It has amounted to something. But, trees don’t decide where they are planted. They are created to bear fruit.
But back to the original tree that struggles to make it. I showed this tree to several people to see what their comments would be. Most folks thought that the tree was struggling being treated unfairly and that it certainly wouldn’t amount to anything where it is. Wrong, wrong, and more wrong. It bears fruit every year for the cows, deer, critters and me. It definitely doesn’t look like it should. It struggles. but, the fruit is sooooo good. Us 2 and 4 legged critters know the value of this tree. To the world in general, it is not going to amount to anything.
What about you? Has life stapled barbed wire around you. Does it seem that worldly “problems” have surrounded your life? Have you heard someone say that you and your life will not amount to anything?
Matthew 7:16 NLT You can identify them by their fruits, that is, by the way they act………
People who tell you that you won’t amount to anything measure success by the amounts. You know, the amount of units sold, the amount of money possessed, the amount of people you control, the amounts of anything you can claim. But shouldn’t we be more than that. Because if that is our life’s true goal, then we truly haven’t amounted to anything.
Identify yourself by your “fruits”. Even when wrapped up in “barbed wire” and surrounded by the world, you can still be what God has created you to be. I like to think that this persimmon tree is a great example of “living in, but not of this world”. It’s focused on bearing fruit, growing upright, and LIVING no matter what comes.
So, there you are producing fruit. So many different fruit trees. Look at this list of fruit…… teaching music to a child, singing at the nursing home, raising children, leading a men’s group, praying for someone, volunteering, helping the needy, being there for someone. My, my, the list is endless as it should be. Fruits of the spirit have no limit. They also have no amount. God knows where you’ve been “planted”. He knows about the “barbed wires” of your life that could hold you back. But He also sees “your fruit”. Well done, keep on bearing fruit, growing upright, and LIVING no matter the cost.