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It's not the end of the story yet

 

Last updated 7/10/2008 at Noon



I love to read – especially a good mystery novel. I’ve learned that there are five rules of a good story: reader interest, novelty, timeliness, impact and conflict.

It’s that last one that intrigues me… conflict. Especially when I apply it to the story of my life. I really don’t like conflict, but God has often used it to compel some pretty good changes in my attitude or behavior. I have to say that when I hear the Biblical commands to grow and change, I sometimes get discouraged. I should be further along. I’ve been a believer for “x” years and I still… Is anything good happening in my life now? Is anything working?

I’ve been encouraged by this truth, learned from reading and enjoying good novels: “It’s not the end of the story yet…” You see, God is faithful. He continues His work. And some of the best fruit ripens… later.

A man once bought a home with a tree in the backyard. It was winter, and nothing marked this tree as different from any other tree. When spring came, the tree grew leaves and tiny pink buds.

How wonderful, thought the man. A flower tree! I will enjoy its beauty all summer.

But before he had time to enjoy the flowers, the wind began to blow and soon all the petals were strewn all over his yard.

What a mess, he thought. This tree isn’t any use after all.

The summer passed, and one day the man noticed the tree was full of green fruit the size of large nuts. He picked one and took a bite.

“Bleagh!” he cried, and threw it to the ground. “What a horrible taste! This tree is worthless. Its flowers are so fragile the wind blows them away, and its fruit is terrible and bitter. When winter comes, I’m cutting it down.”

But the tree took no notice of the man and continued to draw water from the ground and warmth from the sun and in late fall produced… crisp red apples.

Some of us see Christians with their early blossoms of happiness and think they should be that way forever. Or we see bitterness in their lives, and we’re sure they will never bear the better fruit of joy. Could it be that we forget that some of the best fruit ripens late?

Maturity is a process. Walking with Christ is an ongoing experience. God is faithful. He continues His work. “It’s not the end of the story yet…”

“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:5-6)

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:7-9)

 

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