Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Picking Fruit

by Peter Brokaar

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Philippians 3:12, NIV

Fruit is mentioned many times in the Bible - a lovely and easy to relate to picture of all the good things God seeks to cultivate in our lives. Sometimes, in our teachings, we also refer to ‘bad fruits’ to help people understand that current problems can be rooted in past issues.

Currently it is raspberry season here in Scotland and I am pausing regularly in the countryside to pick a few berries and enjoy the Lord’s larder. These wild raspberries are juicy, sweet and what’s more: they are free! As I was picking some off a bush last week, the first handful was easy to get to. After that it was harder work. I had to reach in through the prickly branches and navigate a few stinging nettles, but I got to them in the end!

This reminded me of the ‘bad fruit’ in our lives, the issues God wants to reach and deal with. Typically, there are plenty of things which are relatively easily resolved. We pray, perhaps with someone else’s help, and the Lord picks these issues off one by one, so to speak. That’s all great, but then we get to some of the problems which are harder to reach. Some things are just not that easily resolved. Some hurts, pains and even sinful behaviours can be deeply entrenched and seem woven into the very fabric of our being. We ask, try and pray, but not much seems to change.

It is these deeper issues that we really need to press into God for. We may have prayed about them a hundred times already, and might be wondering: “Why isn’t God fixing this?” Perhaps we feel we’re doing something wrong. But just as with the difficult-to-reach raspberries, we need to persist and not lose hope, especially because those things which lie deeply entrenched in our hearts are important to God. He is in the business of rescuing us to the uttermost and He is intent on conquering the very depths of our hearts. And once we meet Him in that deep place, we discover more of His love and His power in our lives, perhaps even in ways we thought were inaccessible to us before.

So be encouraged and don’t give up. The fact that some issues in your life don’t get resolved as easily as others does not necessarily mean that you’re doing something wrong. It does not mean that God is unable to help. It simply means that you are like everybody else: wonderfully intricate and rather complex. God knows just how to reach in, but it may take time. Be encouraged that God is on it and wants to meet even your deepest needs.

Prayer: Father in heaven I thank You for all that You have already changed in me. You know the issues I still face, and I ask for help and strength to carry on. I want to trust You and Your perfect time for meeting my deepest needs. Thank You that You know and care. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.


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