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When Leo Gives You Lemons

I have never thought of myself as someone with a “Green Thumb”. Truth be told, always, I am not that great of a gardener… but household plants… love ‘em. I give each one a name. I am big on naming items that I provide care for. So, there is “Violet”, the African Violet, “Chris”, the Christmas Cactus….and more… you get the idea. And then there is “Leo”. Out of all of my plants, Leo is extra special... for a few years I really wanted a lemon tree and I live in Minnesota (yeah, I know…). About a year and a half ago my hubby went to Arizona in November and drove back with a sweet, young, 15 leafed, lemon tree as a surprise for me! I was thrilled and found the perfect place for him to be, with the perfect pot, and the perfect special light, and the perfect soil... I was going to watch as Leo would bear fruit in my MN house! Leo DID! After a year, we had so many leaves, so many blossoms, and after it all – we were the proud recipients of 2 beautifully bright, yellow, lemons! Victory!!! Leo wasn’t very big and Leo wasn’t very strong, but he did grow and by golly, Leo bore fruit.

What a happy little tree! After he bore that fruit, and I knew that it was possible, I stopped babying him, stoped the rigid watering schedule... I mean if he was strong enough to bear fruit – then he was strong enough not to, right? Then the leaves started dropping, the branches not gaining strength or growing, and although there were more blossoms, they were … fruitless.

I know that The Lord uses objects and situations all around us to open our eyes to what He wants us to understand. How many times in my life have I seen the “fruit” of success and then focus on the fruit instead of receiving the care that I need to keep producing?

We all will have life changing moments – and a lot of times we put so much energy into those changes and what fruit it will bear that we forget to rest, prepare, and receive the nutrients that will strengthen us for the next season – the next bearing – and even more GOOD “fruit”. My focus for Leo now is the refreshing of soil, more nutrients and more specifically, the nutrients he NEEDS, and lots of natural sunlight, Leo will be able to use his time of dormancy to continue to grow and gain energy, be prepared to “produce” some more “produce”  - In my own life, I too want to be aware that what I need, wherever I am planted, is meant to be received to strengthen and prepare me. And unlike my care for Leo - God never stops giving!

Now there is an obvious joke here about “When Life Gives you Lemons…” but in all seriousness I don’t want to be sour or bitter – I know that Being In His Word, Basking in His Light of Forgiveness, Standing on His Truth, and Growing for HIS purpose – GOOD soil, GOOD water, GOOD light - THAT is the only way to bear GOOD fruit and there is nothing sweeter than that!

Jeremiah 17:7- 8 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. (8) He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

We bear fruit to plant seeds. We plant seeds for more fruit. The time in between is oh so important! Whether you are in a time of bearing, or a time of resting… keep receiving… may your fruit be good, plentiful and a blessing!

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