COVID Has Made Us Weary, But We Should Still Be Doing Good

If you are in a season that feels barren and fruitless, take heart – over time, if we are persistent in our pursuit of God and obedient to his will and plan, we will bear fruit. Now might be a time when you are being pruned and watered and weathered so that your fruit will be both sweeter and more abundant when the appointed season comes. 

“As for you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing good.”

2 Thessalonians 3:13

Seldom in the world’s history has the entirety of humankind been subjected to such mind-numbing and soul-crushing stress and chaos that has led to such persistent weariness. During this time, on days when I’m feeling down, it’s easy to look for the fruits of my efforts and wonder if I’ve accomplished anything at all. On those weary days, progress seems painfully slow and tangible “results” seem like a barren field on a foggy morning. This is quite opposite of what we desire, isn’t it? 

We would all love for our efforts to result in immediate, visible, tangible fruit, but fruit is a fitting metaphor, and it is no accident that this metaphor is employed frequently in Scripture. As Psalm 1 points out, the blessed person is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season

How the Wicked and the Righteous Grow

In Psalm 92 we see a clear contrast between the wicked and the righteous. In v7 we learn that “though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever,” while in v12 we see that “the righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar” that still bears fruit in old age and is ever full of sap and green (v14). 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The wicked have their day in the sun, their flash in the pan, their proverbial “15 minutes of fame.” They sprout like grass, which grows rapidly but provides little value and fades away just as quickly as it appeared. Although these people are often among the most prominent in the world and seem to be successful by worldly standards (we might even envy them sometimes), in the end, such people are doomed to destruction.

The righteous, however, are like palm or cedar trees. Palm trees take about five years to grow a trunk and another 15 years to produce coconuts, but they can live for hundreds of years. They represent slow growth and much fruit, just the opposite of grass.

Cedars are evergreen trees that can grow to over 150 ft and live up to 300 years. They are known for their alluring scent and have an ornamental quality because of their beauty. Cedar is also used for guitar tops and is known for its warm tone. Cedar trees represent beauty, warmth, and an inviting aroma. We might think of this aroma as “the fragrance of life” that is mentioned in 2 Cor. 2:16.

The Long Blessings of Slow Growth

In contrast to the wicked, the righteous grow slowly but they live long and fruitful lives. For such people, what often looks like a season of fruitlessness is actually a season of preparation. If we see a tree as only useful when there is ripe fruit to pick, we might see it as useless at all other times. 

But trees are not useless during seasons when the fruit is not visibly emerging. During times of not bearing fruit, a tree is still being prepared to be fruitful: it is being pruned and watered and weathered, all of which will make the fruit sweeter and more abundant. Even the blessed person is not bearing fruit in all seasons but in the appointed season; there is a cyclical pattern to fruit-bearing. 

If you are in a season that feels barren and fruitless, take heart – over time, if we are persistent in our pursuit of God and obedient to his will and plan, we will bear fruit. Now might be a time when you are being pruned and watered and weathered so that your fruit will be both sweeter and more abundant when the appointed season comes. 

So, as for you, do not grow weary in doing good.

Today’s featured image is available as a photo or canvas print. Please visit my store on Facebook for details.

How Can We Keep Our Anxieties at Bay?

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:5-6

The command is: “Do not be anxious about anything…” And yet never in our lifetimes have we had so much opportunity to worry and so little ability to contribute any effective first-hand solutions to the situations that are the subject of our stresses.

In the time of Paul’s writing, a person’s potential sphere of worry was much smaller. The raw materials of their anxieties were restricted to local events. Not that these weren’t legitimate worries, but they were not exposed – as we are daily – to a barrage of news of events near and far that might cause us to fret. In this way, our technological progress has become a disadvantage. So we might be tempted, given our technological disadvantages, to proclaim that obedience to this command is impossible! However, when God inspired these words to be written he was not ignorant of how our world would look in our present.

We’re in a challenging period of time, and you’re probably experiencing some combination of spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial problems. Well, you are not alone. Jesus told us that in this world we will have trouble. So we should not be surprised at what the Apostle Peter called the “fiery trials” of life. They are not pleasant, but they are very normal, they are to be expected and accepted with faith. 

And they are to be endured together, not alone. We often hesitate to share our struggles, not wanting to burden others with our pains, but we miss out on a double blessing when we do this. We are blessed when our burdens are shared with others, and we are blessed in bearing the burdens of others. 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Today’s featured image is available as a photo or canvas print. Please leave a comment below if you are interested in pricing details.