Day 116: Fruitful

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the council of the wicked, or stand in the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers, but his delight is in the Law of the Lord. He meditates on it day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and it's leaf does not wither.
Psalm 1:1-3

A tree planted by streams of water has to have incredibly deep roots, because the soil near that water has a great potential to shift and erode. But the soil there is often incredibly rich with nutrients as well. So it's a trade off. A tree with shallow roots, or thin roots will not last near a stream of water. Although it is getting plenty of water and nutrients, it's wimpy roots will be its demise.

I prayed this morning and asked God, "What do my roots look like God? Are they deep enough to sustain me? How do I know if my tree is deeply rooted or not?

I reread that paragraph about trees planted near streams of water. Because the tree in this passage sounds incredibly healthy. What happens to the tree planted near the water?

"It yields its fruit in season"

This would indicate there are seasons. So, I researched the seasons of fruiting trees and here's what I discovered.

Trees have four distinct seasons 1. dormancy (rest) 2. bloom 3. bear fruit 4. shed fruit (harvest) LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT

Trees that follow these seasons develop deep, thick root systems.

So, if I am to draw wisdom from a passage which tells me the righteous man is like a tree planted near streams of water, I will bear fruit in season.

Light bulb moment.

I don't bear fruit in season. I go for constant fruit bearing. I want to be a megafruit producer. I want to produce enough fruit for the entire starving planet of 7 billion people. I don't need rest. I'll just skip over dormancy. No real purpose in that.

Seriously, that's how I live my life.

I decided to read some about trees that overproduce fruit. Here is what happens to them.

Eventually their roots cannot sustain the demand. They cannot provide enough nutrients to the tree and the roots become unstable. They cannot draw up enough water and nutrients from the soil and they become shallow, seeking extra nutrients from the sun. When the trees begins to become unhealthy, the leaves turn a funny color, almost muted and either brittle or waxy (depending on the kind of tree). The first sign of unhealth is seen in the leaves.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and it's leaf does not wither. Psalm 1:3

Here's the other thing that happens to a tree that isn't allowed to lie fallow (to be dormant, to rest) it produces so much fruit that the trunk cannot sustain the weight of it and it splits in half, which kills the tree.

What am I learning from this? Clearly, I cannot keep up at this pace or my roots will become shallow and my leaves will indeed wither. And eventually I will split in half.

All that to say, I want to bear fruit, but just not constantly. I'm not called to do it. I'm called to live a balanced and fruitful life.


  1. "Like drought-stricken grass, I die down to the roots and wait it out." - Kathleen Norris

    Sometimes we just have to be dead for a while if we want to stay full of life. Good blog.


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