“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples”
Spring is all around me. Whilst the daffodils are fading the azaleas are in glorious bloom. The silver birches, white stinkwood and fig trees that I can see from my window are clothed in bright new greenery. The pruned back hydrangeas are surging upward and outward and the quiet lilies are producing their first buds. The roses that looked gnarled and barren for months are on the point of bursting into the full flush of their first abundant display –as flower girls in front of the breath-taking beauty of the bride of the garden – the white may. All this reminds me that our God is a God of beauty, abundance and wonderful generosity.
These lovely plants are doing just what they were created to do, bearing abundant fruit to the glory of their Creator and the blessing of those around them. It always strikes me that nature produces her fruit for others whilst humans tend to produce their fruit for themselves.
Obviously we earn our living from the use of the gifts that God has given to us. However we do need to be generous in our use of these gifts and the proceeds that come to us from their use. The Israelites were specifically instructed not to be too zealous in collecting the harvest but to leave some for the poor who came to glean what was left behind. King David also had this to say on the subject.
- “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand” (1 Chronicles 29:14 NIV)
- “But me–who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand” (1 Chronicles 29:14 MSG)
Being generous with the goodness in our lives is not only about money. There is a generosity of spirit, a generosity with care, concern and compassion, a generosity with encouragement, understanding and patience, a generosity with prayer, with time and with specific talents.
I sometimes wonder what I would be like if I were a plant. Perhaps covered in lovely and fragrant blooms and fruit all the year round – or maybe a gnarled, twisted and unlovely thorn bush – or something in-between depending on my circumstances or mood. How would someone draw me – or you?
God has placed love and generosity in your heart. Set it free (-er)
The beauty that people will remember is not of form but of spirit.
Father You are beautiful beyond description and too marvellous for words. Please help me to be more like You and to gladden the hearts of those around me. Amen.