In many places in God's Word, references are made to us bearing fruit. Psalm 1:3 calls us prosperous trees planted by the river, bringing forth fruit. We don't wither or fade as we grow. Jeremiah 17:9 says we are trees with our roots deep in the river, strong during heat and drought, and always producing fruit.
The prophet Ezekiel had a vision of the river, flowing from the throne in the temple all the way to the Dead Sea where it healed the waters and produced an abundance of fish. What a wonderful picture that is. But he also said the river was lined with trees on either side, bearing fruit, and their leaves are medicine. (Ez 47:12)
Now, remember Paul's words in Galatians 5:22-23, where he lists the "fruit of the Spirit" we are to produce: "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." This fruit only grows on healthy trees planted by the river that flows from the throne. Trees planted in the wrong location in the wrong type of soil will not produce anything. (Mt 13:5-7)
Jesus made this point again, comparing us to fruitful branches and Himself as the vine. Only by being connected to Him do we produce fruit. (Jn 15:5) In another place, He drew a picture of faith as a mustard seed that grows so large it provides shelter to birds.
Here is my point: The fruit we produce, the healing our leaves provide, the shelter our faith gives isn't for ourselves. The tree has no need to consume its own fruit. It doesn't required its own shade to survive. This makes no sense in the natural and no sense in the spiritual either.
Trees produce fruit for passersby and shelter for those in need of it. Our fruit is to change the life of someone else, to give the weary rest, to feed the man at the end of his rope, to give hope where there doesn't seem to be any. Except for the fact, down where our roots are there's a river strong enough, wide enough, powerful enough to make dead waters alive again.
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay
Suzanne D. Williams, Author