This year in our garden we had a lot of volunteer squash-like plants come up. I pulled most of them to make room for the things we had actually planted, but left a couple. One of those plants seemed to be doing pretty well, so I let it keep growing. I kept watching it and was excited to se it begin to flower. I still wasn’t sure what it was, though because there wasn’t any fruit growing. It continued to produce an abundance of flowers, but as I watched it, I began to wonder if it was ever going to produce. The leaves were smallish and the though the vine was growing quite large and taking over a larger and larger portion of my garden, it seemed to be struggling a bit. And, there was no sign of fruit.
So, one day I got fed up with it and pulled it up.
My heart sank as I gathered up the vine to throw in the compost and discovered a baseball sized melon growing on it.
Hidden fruit! And I had pulled it up! Why hadn’t I waited to see what would come of it? Why did I get impatient? Why didn’t I look harder for where the fruit might be growing.
I certainly don’t want to be putting effort into things that aren’t going to produce fruit. Jesus was quick to curse a fig tree that didn’t produce and in a parable told of a landowner who was ready to chop down a tree that would not produce (Mark 11:12-21; Luke 13:6-9).
But I also don’t want to pull up the vine that is producing fruit simply because I don’t see it yet!
Pray that we will have wisdom to discern when we need to stop doing something that is not going to produce any fruit and when we need to remain faithful and wait for the fruit to grow and mature!