Barren or Bearing?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 
Galatians 5:22-23

I was standing in my bedroom bouncing Travis to sleep for the 5th attempt at laying him down for his nap when I looked out the window and this tree caught my eye.
Now we have lived here for 7 years and every single year this pear tree has been completely dripping with fruit. I mean weighed down to the point of limbs breaking from the weight of the fruit. And though I don't really care for pears I'm always aware of their presence by the animals I see wandering into the yard to eat their fill of them. And even the pears that aren't eaten provide sweet nourishment for the bees and bugs after they fall to the ground and rot. All this to say, it's a very popular fruitful tree.

As I was standing in my bedroom already worn out from the day at 10am, I looked out at this tree and remembered my husband saying to me a couple of weeks ago that our pear tree was barren this year.

bar-ren (adjective): not producing fruit or seed; showing no results or achievements; unproductive.

What?! How can this be?

And as I'm standing here holding my baby boy who refuses to sleep because his sisters have woken him repeatedly, I see this tree and I think of me.

Exhausted mama to 3 little ones. I had lost any miniscule amount of patience I had left. I had lost my self control when our school lessons hadn't gone the way I had planned. I had not been kind to my kids when they had been arguing and whining earlier. I was bearing no spiritual fruit. Like this tree, I was barren.

But wait....

What is that? A pear? No way!

I spotted a pear!

A single pear.

Wait a minute....there's another one!

And another!

3 beautiful pears.

I can't call this tree barren anymore after spotting 3 pears. It may not have produced much fruit this year, but it is not barren.

You see, I needed a reminder in that moment that the Spirit was alive and well in me. That where I saw zero fruit, He saw some. And that restored my hope. Not in my work, but of His work in me.

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8:11

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