Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wasted Fruit

I seem to be on a "fruit" theme lately, but it's not intentional. I guess it is just something God has laid on my heart recently.

I'm feeling guilty because God has given me something that is beautiful and useful, and I dislike it. (I don't want to use the word "hate", although, that's probably more accurate.) What God has given me is this pretty, unassuming pear tree.

The tree just blossomed this week and is gorgeous. BUT it will only be a matter of time when those white blossoms will start to produce pears. As the summer progresses, the pears will grow and many will fall off the tree as the birds and squirrels begin feasting on them. When they fall to the ground, they get mushy, they smell and what's even worse...they attract bees! This tree is smack dab in the middle of our backyard. There is no avoiding the fallen pears. We have to constantly clean up after this tree just as we clean up after our dog (which is particularly delightful when he has been eating the fallen pears).

My husband and I enjoy vegetable gardening, but in the 9 years that we have lived here, we've never enjoyed this tree. I haven't attempted to can the pears because canning is a mystery to me. It just seems complicated. When we pick the pears, they're hard as a rock. I usually put them in a paper bag to ripen them up. There is also the issue of there being SO MANY pears. Even when we give them away, we still end up with more than we can eat. Thus, I feel as if we're wasting a gift from God.

This has made me ponder what other gifts from God am I wasting and where am I not being fruitful? I am sure there are gifts that I'm just not seeing yet, but I'm also as sure that there are gifts that I am ignoring because I'm choosing to disobey God. For instance, I will be having my yearly review at work today and know that pretty soon I'll be given my contract to sign for next year. I just don't have peace about signing my contract but know that I will because I'm not trusting Him for our finances.

I'm feeling more led to run some kind of women's ministry and to be home full-time, but since I don't have any details in place, I don't feel I can say yes to Him. My "no" is going to cost me fruitfulness. Any gift that He has given me to be fruitful in the aforementioned areas will wither away. Just as in the Parable of the Talents that Jesus told, if I don't use my gifts and talents, God will take them away.

Oh Father God, please help me to be wise and to be obedient to You. Help me to say "yes" rather than "no" to you. Let me use whatever gifts I have received to serve others, faithfully administering Your grace in its various forms. Let me serve with the strength You provide, so that in all things You may be praised. (1 Peter 4:10-11)

5 comments:

Sue J. said...

Your frank honesty makes me tear up, just hearing the struggle in your voice. You have laid it out so beautifully and truthfully here, Leslie.

I am sure that God has heard your heartfelt prayer as you have presented it here. I pray that He will not only be faithful to answer it, but that you will discern His clear answer to you in such a way that making that 'yes' or 'no' will be unquestionable.

As for your pear tree, they are beautiful now, but I understand your fruit challenges. I wonder if there isn't a food bank or other source that wouldn't gladly accept your offering?

In central VA, we have canneries that they practically beg folks to use (and train them to use). We have poor folks who use a "free market" to receive bagged groceries and clothing items, and they always ask for fresh fruit, because, if they are fortunate, the receive canned fruit. But fresh fruit makes them really happy. Surely someone wants your pears; prayers for God to make that connection happen for you.

Blessings this day....and know that He has a plan!!

Tea With Tiffany said...

God is speaking the same word over me lately. I read the parable of the talents to my daughter last night.

Isn't He amazing!

May our lives bear much fruit!

Lorene said...

A very insightful post. I too have wasted the time and talent given to me by God simply because I did not know what to do. I think the thing that really changed my life was when I started journaling- writing down the things I felt He was speaking to me. Eventually all the pieces fit together and certain things just seemed like the right thing to do.

MiMi said...

Leslie,

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for leaving me such a sweet comment. How funny that you had been reading my daughter's blog and praying for her trip to Brazil! I love that you are sponsoring a 12 yr. old child in Brazil through Compassion!

I am so excited about the trip and how God has been working in my life to provide for this trip. I can hardly wait to see how He moves next.

I am a huge photographer, so you can rest assured that you will have more pictures than you probably care to see from this trip!

Thanks again so much for leaving me a comment and I hope you'll keep dropping by now that you have found me. I'll be keeping my eye on you, as well.

Have a blessed evening!

Sue J. said...

Leslie,

I have no idea what show you are talking about, and I can understand how hearing that song might make you a little crazy.

I think Simon's starting to stir up the voters. Last year, there was a suggestion that he gave the nod to David Archuleta so that more David Cook fans would vote in the finals. I'm sensing some "Simonizing" as I'm sure he'd love to see Allison hang in there. It will be an interesting send-off tomorrow night.

And, yet, no one said Adam was 'indulgent.'