a crop or yield of one growing season
Standing majestically in the corner of the front yard of my childhood home was a spring blooming, summer harvested apricot tree. Each year, I would wait expectantly for fresh white blooms on stark winter branches. Mom and I would sing a song about "popcorn popping on the apricot tree." Delicious apricots were just a couple of months away, and dad and I would pick and savor them right on the lawn.
Nine years ago, or so, we planted an apricot tree in our own front yard, eager to someday have a fruity harvest to share with our own children. The growing has been slow. Each year we have pruned the straggly branches and cut back the suckers which strangely find their way into flower beds. Every spring when the "popcorn" starts popping, we are hopeful for what the summer might promise. Some years we have had just a few blooms and only a handful of fruit to show for it, and other years, cold bitter winds have swept through, blowing all the blooms to the ground, stealing our hope. Last summer, we were blessed more than we had ever been before. We took a basket outside and Josh scaled the tree branches, elated with the abundance at his fingertips.
Little did we know what the little tree would yield this year. We have the largest bumper crop I have ever seen!! Afire with plump, orange balls, the branches bow, almost buckling with their heavy offering. We have enough for ourselves, enough to bless others, and scads more. Yesterday, 2 women came to the door asking if they could purchase them. In an ironic turn, I actually know one of them, and welcomed her to take her fill. She came back with a bin, and offered suggestions on canning and freezing, so that I could later enjoy my harvest in smoothies and with toast.
Have you ever spiritually "planted" a seed, praying for it and tending to it, trusting that God will bring forth fruit? Through the years, I have often planted seeds and then struggled to rest in God's timing. I have had difficult lessons in patience and relinquishing my timing to the Ancient of Days, who stands outside of time. The God who can measure a life as a vapor or see 1,000 days as a mere 1. Sometimes, I have been discouraged as I've seen the enemy come to steal, kill and destroy life, spiritual or physical, which Jesus came to give in abundance. I become skeptical of God's timing and wonder if He truly has all in His control. I wonder these things because I am not the Lord of the Harvest... I am simply a servant girl who cannot fully see the master plan.
So I will keep praying and planting, and rest in His perfect timing, whether it is a 9 month or a 9 year growth season. And when He brings forth great harvest, I want to stand ready to rejoice, to share in His faithfulness, and to relish all He has done. He is, indeed, the Lord of the Harvest, and His timing is perfect.