fruit: believing for better things while living with barren ground

I was beating myself up for falling behind with everything, making unfair comparisons with others, (feeling a tad jealous) and wondering just when my writing/life dreams might bear fruit. Maybe you can relate?

Here’s what God whispered back….

Do not fear lack, My giving to another will never take away from all I desire to give to you. There is more than enough to go around. Once you begin to fully appreciate all the grace gifts I already bestow on you each day, then you will see how lavish is my love, how freely all is given, how good the Lord is to you, how wonderfully I care for My beloved ones.

We need not fear lack. God's giving to another will never take away from His desire to give to us Click To Tweet

Others may look like they are forging ahead while you stand still. It only appears that way because they are in a season of harvest reaping and you are in a fallow, resting season where seed for future growth is being sown.

Growth is still happening under the surface, though it may not yet be discernible to your eyes. These waiting times are painful for you, but I want you to see how necessary they are in growing you on the inside, in shaping you into all you can become by My grace.

Our waiting times are growing us on the inside, shaping us into all we can become by God's grace Click To Tweet

Fruit will come forth in due time. If you can be content to lay low and remain teachable, there will soon be an opening for you as well. It might seem infinitesimal but every tiny action, each deed willingly and cheerfully done for Me in love is truly valuable for My Kingdom growth.

Every time you react with gratitude instead of grumbling, turn to Me whenever you feel twisted up with jealousy or cut up by comparison, continue to pray, speak, write and share in a way that encourages others, you are fulfilling My will for you now and helping good spiritual fruit to flourish and swell.

Growth is still happening under the surface, even if we cannot see it yet Click To Tweet

These are no mean feats. They are essential, healthy soul care steps in making progress. I guide you continually, speak to you in and through everything. A keen, listening ear will hear My voice urging them on, whispering inspiration and encouragement, infusing My unconditional love and unlimited strength into all weary warriors.

The battlefield of life can lead to loss and strife. Be on your guard. Keep your heart tuned heavenward, eyes of faith clear and your mind aligned with mine through ingesting My Word. I am your sword for the fight, your Comforter when battle scars wound you and fear makes you want to take flight.

God guides us continually and speaks to us in and through everything Click To Tweet

Stay focused on ploughing in your own small furrow. Keep your eyes on Me. Don’t let the jostle of the world or swift pace of others deter you from nurturing your soul’s soil ground. Slow and steady will still get you to the finishing line.

And as you pause from your labours, lift your eyes to drink in the scenery, stop to pull up a few weeds, remember I am in the sun’s rays warming your upturned face. I am the gentle breeze bringing soft refreshment.

I am the vast expanse of sky, always displaying My glory. I am earth, fertile ground. I am Sower, Reaper and Harvester of your soul seeds. Fruit will come. I promise. Just trust in Me.”

20 Comments

  1. Dear Joy,
    Oh how your words hit home for me today! In these places of slow, when something brings us to an even slower “slow” than before, it’s so easy to get discouraged. Thank you for these words of encouragement from the Lord today: “I am the vast expanse of sky, always displaying My glory. I am earth, fertile ground. I am Sower, Reaper and Harvester of your soul seeds.” HE truly is our Master Gardener, planning each step of our lives. Oh may I continue to remember that, and rejoice in the place where He walks with me, today. Gentle Hugs, Love and Blessings to you, Dear Friend! xoxo

    1. Dear Bettie, I can strongly relate to and appreciate the potential for discouragement in being brought “to an even slower ‘slow’ than before”, because that’s also where I’m at. Hence my slowed down ability to engage on social media or answer comments here. And it seems as if slow, still, insignificant or hidden might describe our situation, whereas God sees it as fertile soul time whereby He gets our undivided attention! I pray you will walk with joy and hope in your heart as you are accompanied by our Master Gardener. Thankfully, God not only walks with us, He also carefully plans each step we take (as you so rightly said), each place where we are stalled or situated for a while, and fully supplies whatever resources are required to meet our needs at that point in our journey of life and faith. Gentle hugs, love and blessings to you, sweet friend! I’m honoured to be walking this path with you. xoxo

  2. Joy, like Bettie, these words are what I needed today. I sometimes look at what others are accomplishing and think I’ll never get my little nature haiku picture book finished. But I need to remember to keep my eyes on God and keep working at what I am doing. I need to remember why I write and take photographs. I want what I do to point others to Him. Maybe I’ll never publish a book but He can still use me in many ways if I am sensitive to his leading.

    Many blessings to you, dear, sweet Joy! You are an inspiration more than you know! xoxo

    1. Gayl, thank you for your kind, encouraging comment. It’s balm and grace to my soul to hear how much this post has spoken to you! I can strongly relate to your feelings of frustration and despair when the work you are collating doesn’t seem to go anywhere. I have multiple files of stuff on the PC: potential books, unused poetry, prose and prayers I long to complete and publish, but I am needing to bide my time until God gives the green light to go ahead. Experience tells me the work will be all the better for being saturated in prayer and shaped by Holy hands to fit their intended use one day. It was painful when God asked me to set ‘Seeking Solace’ aside for several months, although I believe it was richer for being marinated for a while, stirred slowly and some fresh ingredients added to the mix! God sees your heart and will bring your book(s) to pass when the time is right. Please don’t lose hope of seeing your words in print. This is the key thing for all of us on the creative path: “if I am sensitive to his leading”, as you so wisely say. Many blessings to you, dear friend!

      1. Joy, thank you so much for your encouraging words. Yes, I know “the work will be all the better for being saturated in prayer and shaped by Holy hands to fit their intended use one day.” Thank you so much for reminding me. I already have improved since the idea first came to me three years ago to do a nature haiku book. So I need to continue to trust God to lead and I will know when it is ready. πŸ™‚ So many blessings to you, dear friend! xoxo

        1. Gayl, it’s so encouraging to hear how the seeming delay is actually helping to shape your thoughts and words better! πŸ™‚ May your faithfulness to the task soon see its fulfilment. As we trust in God to oversee our lives, hopes, dreams and projects He will bring them to fruition and bless them beyond our expectations. I’m looking forward to hearing how you get on with the nature haiku book! Please keep me in the loop so I can pray you through the process. Blessings and hugs to you, dear friend. xoxo

          1. Thanks so much, Joy. I have to put it off for at least a couple of weeks because of family gatherings, etc. But I will definitely let you know when I am working on it again. Your prayers will be much appreciated. Love to you! xo

            1. I understand, Gayl, deferral has become a way of life for me! But I would love to hear from you once those creative juices steer you in the right direction again. You can always email or message me if you prefer. Happy to be of help in any way I can. Love and hugs to you! xo

  3. This speaks so clearly to me, Joy. The Good Spirit in me has been telling me again and again recently that my *work* presently is learning to “relax into the Love of God”. We live in such a culture and time of “produce, produce, produce; achieve, achieve, achieve”, but Jesus invites us to “Come away with Me to a quiet place and rest a while”. Thanks be to God for Sacred Pauses and Sabbaths; and thanks be to God we are loved for who we are and not for what we do or do not achieve according to this world’s standards. Love and prayers for you, Dear One. <3

    1. Cheryl Anne, I think we often strive to rest and “relax in the Love of God”, oxymoron as it sounds. Yet if we could but let go of our insecure struggling and simply believe we are His beloved ones, then maybe resting in God would become second nature to us. Yes, our noisy, driven culture doesn’t help us to stop, never mind relax. It’s the gently whispered words of Jesus we need to hear and respond to the most. Amen to this: “Thanks be to God for Sacred Pauses and Sabbaths”! We don’t have to wait for the weekend either, because God invites us to stop and rest in His Love any time we need to. Our labours need to drive us into God’s rest instead of pushing us into a state of stress. I hope and pray your break will be deeply restorative and healing for you, dear friend. Love and prayers returned to you, dear one. xo <3 PS: If you get an email reply addressed to Trudy instead it's because I inadvertently missed seeing who I was responding to. Sorry! Blame my ME brain fog/fatigue... πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you so much for this soothing balm, Joy. I too easily fall into the comparison trap. Everything here resonates in my heart. Love and hugs to you! May we rest in “being” who we are in Jesus rather than in browbeating ourselves to “do” more.

    1. Oh Trudy, you too? How easily we can fall into the comparison trap, forgetting God has a unique plan for our lives. It’s something my insecure soul seems to need reminding of again and again. Maybe one day I will finally get it! Yes, we do need to rest in who we are and Whose we are. Doing more is so often the undoing of us, isn’t it? Especially when we live with chronic illness. Love and hugs to you, sweet, understanding friend. xo <3

  5. Hi Joy,
    I often see you around the blogs commenting, but I’m not sure I’ve visited your blog before — and I’m glad I’m here! (It’s funny how we stick with reading the same blogs, but I’m stepping out and looking for new friends! :)) Comparing ourselves to others who may be in different seasons is so futile, as you pointed out, because where we are on our journey with God is what’s important, isn’t it? Enjoyed reading your words today!

    1. Hi Valerie, welcome to Words of Joy. How lovely of you to visit me! I’ve also seen you around the blogosphere, especially at Trudy and Bettie’s sites. I tend to vary a bit in where I go and what I read, while trying to support fellow writers and encourage friends with their work. I’m glad you could relate to this post, and wholeheartedly agree it pays to remember “where we are on our journey with God is what’s important.” Amen, my friend! I enjoyed visiting your site as well, and wonder why I didn’t think to do so sooner. But I’m so glad we have connected now! Bless you, new friend. May you be showered with rich blessings from above as you go through the rest of this week. πŸ™‚ x

        1. Me, too, Valerie! It’s so lovely to have connected with you. Blessings of rest, joy and peace to you as we slide toward the weekend. May your soul be lifted by life’s sweet, small and simple things. πŸ™‚ xo

  6. Thanks for the encouragement. It is easy to see the growth of others and not see the plowing and sowing of our own field. And sometimes it is only when we look back with the perspective of time, we really see the growth that took place.

    1. Hi Theresa, yes I agree. We definitely do see more growth when we view the plots next to us, rather than being so aware of what is happening within our own field. The benefit of hindsight and perspective cannot be underestimated, especially if we learn from the lessons they are teaching us. Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a blessed weekend. πŸ™‚

    1. It’s good to hear how this post has spoken to you, June. Thank you for encouraging me with your lovely presence! xo <3

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