Maybe a peach tree has more to do with life than originally thought. Yes, the branches, the fruit, the harvest— it all can take on very easy Christian overtones. But looking at my peach tree today, a great many of the small peaches ripening, a few of the bigger ones still with a light yellow green tint, a different principle comes to mind: the unpredictability of fruit. The prime peach we wait for still clings to the branch, not ready for harvest. But a handful of other ones, they are ready for the harvest and even fall to the ground before we have a second to pick them.
Life is definitely similar… that one event, answer to prayer, thing we are believing for — it may still be up high on the tree, green and firm to the touch. The other things, things we hadn’t anticipated, are ripe and ready for the picking, dripping their juices over us, the smell sweet and intoxicating.
I think there is an important lessons in both of these fruits: the one ripe and ready, and the one greatly anticipated but still clinging to the branch…
Ripe and ready moments: It is amazing how many of them hit us– my daughter had one just the other day. Out of the blue, after several years of acquaintance, a schoolmate texted her with a hunger for wanting to know God on a deeper level. Her desire was raw and real and she knew she could ask my daughter about it. My daughter simply beamed ☀️ with the assignment God had dropped into her day. It was a ripe fruit, a ripe situation, that just suddenly plopped into her hand. But she was ready for it, and takes great delight in the assignment God has given her. We have all had ripe fruit dropped into our lives in unexpected moments, and like the Bible says we are to “be instant in season and out” when presented with a chance to share the gospel (2 Timothy 4:2). What great harvesting of souls has happened because of Christians being ready for these types of situations everywhere they go!
Ripe situations also drop in our laps about things we haven’t anticipated… a new job, a move, a new friendship or relationship, a blessing that pops in out of the blue. I love when that happens, don’t you? ❤️
But what about the fruit that just stubbornly clings to its spot on the branch? It’s still as hard as all get-out, green as can be, with no notion of ripening. It seems there is no answer about that situation.
You know what I am talking about… the deliverance from a situation that seems unbearable, the healing from a sickness, the next direction from God, the redemption of a relationship, etc. You know God’s promises on the matter. You’ve prayed and prayed about the situation, but nothing has budged. That fruit is still green on the branch and as hard as a rock. When will the promise come to fruition?
Friend, I have an encouragement for you today: All of God’s promises are true. It does not matter how small the fruit, how hard or stubborn the fruit is, or even what appears to be an absence of fruit in that area… God keeps His word.
“and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
The fruit undeniably follows a rule: that it will ripen (yes, even that hard as a rock green peach!) It may take time… be as stubborn as all get out… but the fruit will ripen and be enjoyed by the harvester. This promise is true and nothing can change the fact. Nothing.
So if you find yourself in a season beyond expecting the fruit— the answer to prayer, the reconciliation, the deliverance, the way opening ahead of you— keep holding on, dear friend. The fruit will ripen in just the right time. God is over all, and He sees the big picture. It’s amazing to think about how He sees it all, even before we live day one of our lives (Psalm 139:16). We can trust Him, knowing He is working all things together for good, and He is the Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
The things that seem to be delayed, stalled, unanswered, or just plain stubborn… God is turning them in your direction. The peach is ripening on the branch. The color will soon change… the texture will soon soften. The smell will sweeten. And before you know it, you will have a big, ripe, juicy peach plopped right in the palm of your hand.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.Habakkuk 2:3
This is the verse my husband stood on, and I with him, in one of the greatest challenges of our lives… waiting for his American Citizenship to be approved. There were many details in the story… and many worries consumed our minds about the situation and if he really would be approved to live here in the USA or sent back to his country of origin. (It was also very close to attacks on 9/11 in which the courts majorly shut down the USA and those wanting to immigrate to it). He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had brought him here for His purpose and plan. He found several verses, including this one, and clung to it, knowing that God’s promise for him would come true… even if it tarried… even if it delayed, it would surely come to pass. He knew it in His heart. He held onto it, even when everything was shouting that the situation would not work, that it would not come to pass. We had many times going to the court, awaiting the news, only for the hearing to be delayed a month or more. This process went on for years. Those were very stressful times… tumultuous… but God is faithful. In 2009 (eight years after starting the process) my husband became a US citizen. The promise came to pass. The hope in his heart came to fruition.
I know it seems easy when you see the story written here… It’s solved. It’s concise and summarized. It loses the exasperation, the edge, the disappointment, the intensity that was felt during that time of waiting. It really was a situation that was doing its best to break us. It was discouraging, dark, inconclusive, and stubborn. But our God caused the fruit to ripen on the branch. Here are the pictures of that glorious day. Can’t you just feel the joy radiating from us? 😊 God’s promise for Telly (and our family) came true!
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9
Since then, of course, we have faced many other challenges… but the truth remains: God’s promises will come to pass. Find your verse to stand on, your promise from God. Sink in and hold on. It may look like the most stubborn of situations, but it will RIPEN… it will change. Things will give… and you will receive answers, even unexpected answers, to your prayers. Break throughs. Success and victory. Light and life. A deepening of your relationship with the Lord.
My prayer for you this week: God, strengthen the hearts of my friends this week. Help them to continue to hold onto faith for the situations you have promised them. Help them stand solid upon your word, and not be moved by what they see or don’t see… but to continue to cling to the truth that “He who promised is faithful”… You are faithful and you are the one who causes the situations, answers to prayer, and blessings to flow. Thank you for sending down the encouragement of the Holy Spirit to speak into their lives… may they be encouraged. Give them strength to keep holding on. I thank you for the answers to prayers that will happen… the great breakthroughs that will happen in your name. Thank you for causing GOOD in their lives and for the fulfillment of your plans and purposes of their lives to come to fruition– to be like a plump, ripe peach in the palm of their hand. We give you all glory for this. Amen.
May your heart be encouraged. May your “faith muscles” be strengthened. May you dig into the Word and become so convinced that He will bring to pass His plans for your life. May you be strengthened as you wait, and may the joy of the Lord be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
I can’t wait to hear about the ripe fruit God brings your way— His answers to your prayers.
Until next time,
PS. Here is a link to one of my favorite simple Peach Crisp recipes!