(Thanks to Char and Marie for inspiration on this one)
A tall pear tree stands in the backyard of the house our eldest daughter Marie recently purchased. This morning, I picked 30 pounds of the bumper crop of fruit the tree presently bears. Hundreds more pounds remain, and we'll be eating, cooking, canning, and giving away pears for awhile to come.
Interestingly, few people in the world even know the tree exists. The previous owner informed Marie of her love for the fruit it bears each season. Our family knows about it, and perhaps a few neighbors. But that's all (and now, you folks). A beautiful, healthy, and fruitful tree stands, beautifying Marie's backyard and providing delicious sustenance for her family and friends. However, it fulfills its reason for being largely unnoticed.
"He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground. He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him" (Isaiah 53:2).
In His incarnation, the Lord Jesus Christ lived most of His life in obscurity, even as He bore a hidden harvest of the Spirit of God every day of His life. At the time of His appearing, relatively few know of the advent that would change the world and redeem multitudes from their sins. Many who did know rejected the Lord outright because He bore fruit that didn't fit their definition of beauty and sustenance. Such ones cut the Tree down, as it were, but God raised His Son from the dead, planting Him in the soil of an everlasting life of resurrection that will bear fruit forevermore. "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24).
The same truth presently applies to the coming of the Lord Jesus to His church, as manifested in us by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Most of the fruit borne upon the branches of born again believers occurs in unnoticed backyards, as it were. Christ walks the earth again - in us - and He "bringeth forth much fruit." God harvests most of the crop far away from the sight of the masses. The branches themselves often do not see the fruit that hangs upon them in plentiful and spiritually succulent blessing. A few may know, here and there, but it is best that the bounty springs forth as known by God alone, and solely for His glory.
As we often suggest, with God there is more to the picture than meets the eye. Below the surface, behind the scenes, and along the back lanes (or in the backyards) of this present world, the Tree of life stands in abundant beauty and fruitfulness. Of this we can be sure: whether we see it or not, or whether outward indications even seem to deny the Tree's existence, it fulfills its glorious purpose. Moreover, it bears the fruit of everlasting and overcoming life that will one day shine forth all the more beautifully because the harvest of grace, the hidden harvest, was largely seen only by eyes of faith.
"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment, that ye may approve things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, unto the praise and glory of God."
Weekly Memory Verse
I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. So shall I be saved from my enemies.
(II Samuel 22:4)