But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

I finally grasped the difference between busy and fruitful at some point in the last few years. I once ran myself ragged trying to do far too much and none of it to my satisfaction. I now realize fruitful doesn’t equate to a steady stream of productivity coming off a line.

As in my garden, there are times in the process of bearing fruit that seem barren. It looks like nothing is going on. There are dry patches and periods of dormancy. Then there are times when the storms of life inundate us, and we feel like we will never feel the warmth of the sun (or Son) again. Yet, it is all part of the process.

Few things of any substance grow without considerable changes to their environment and a substantial amount of time.

Some things sprout overnight, like the weeds I’d rather be rid of. I’ve grown wary of anything that offers instant gratification. Things that are truly valuable like fulfilling relationships, accomplishing goals and realizing our dreams tend to take time and attention to not only develop but to also keep those things alive.

  Thankfully, God rewards faith and patience as evidenced by Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Moses and a slew of other flawed yet willing figures in the Bible. And God rewards us as well.

If we do not give up on those dreams God plants within us, we can eventually yield the promised harvest if we trust and obey. This also means keeping the faith when we are pruned (as were our heroes of the Bible) so we can eventually produce something good!

Pruning is painful and leaves lasting scars. But it is necessary. God would have us reach for the new things He wants to give. Instead, we often hold fast to dead dry things. When we are stubborn, God simply rips away the very things (or people) we are clinging to for our own good.

Left to ourselves, we can produce a lot of different things.

Doubt. Fear. Worry.

But that is not what God ever intended. Our Father wants more for us in this life.

From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
and the work of their hands brings them reward. Proverbs 12:14 NIV

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ,
that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead,
in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4 NIV

I’m striving to produce those things our Father desires, not just whatever happens to come to mind.

I’ve also learned that becoming fruitful means enduring temporary pains to produce long-term gains. I’ll admit that lesson probably took a lot longer than it should have to learn.

Thankfully, God is patient. God’s power working in and through us can produce a harvest that truly glorifies Him and even allows us to love one another in the process.

What are you bringing forth?

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. I’m not sure why we women esp. are apt to (try to) keep so many balls up in the air. As for rest, our brain – not to mention the rest of us! – works much more efficiently after a period of rest. Wishing you a joyful season, L.


    1. Merry Christmas! I am slowly learning this and relinquishing some of the things I think I should do to give way to what I’m led by the Spirit to do instead.
      Women will work ourselves to death if we are not careful. I’m learning to do less even in this Season, choosing to let go of a few things I adhere to merely for the sake of tradition. Instead, my goal is to focus on being completely present in these precious moments with friends and family.
      Thanks so much for stopping by! I have been hit or miss on WP this year. Maybe 2019 will allow me more time here. B Blessed! Your message reminded me how much I enjoy the fellowship here. 🙂


  2. “I’ve also learned that becoming fruitful means enduring temporary pains to produce long-term gains. I’ll admit that lesson probably took a lot longer than it should have to learn.”
    This is a lesson I’m still learning, Lilka. I think it’s called wisdom 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Lilka! This piece really connects with my spirit, I started writing a poem just last night called “Only What’s Done For Christ Will Last”. I resonate totally with you about the difference of being busy and fruitful. I am working and praying for the wisdom to be less busy and more fruitful in bringing God’s will to manifestation within my life through the guidance of His Holy Spirit. Thanks again for sharing your gift with us. May our God continue Bless you richly my sister in Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So glad to hear it Stacy. I’ve been moved in the same direction myself lately. I am trying to tune more into what God would have me to do instead of my own ideas. You are so correct in that what is done for the Kingdom are the only lasting things. I am trying to be more intentional in fulfilling my purpose and God’s will as I interact with others. B Blessed my brother!

      Liked by 1 person

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