Bearing Ripe Fresh Fruit
I’m surrounded by friends who have been ministering for the Lord for years. Teaching Bible Studies, hosting home groups, holding Christian financial series in their home, mentoring young women, working with pregnancy centers, or serving across the seas in Uganda or Europe on short-term mission trips. However, my life has not been that full of defined consistent ministry.
Oh, I’ve taught some Sunday school classes, had a neighborhood Bible Study meet in our dining room for a short while, and even considered my assistant teaching position at a Christian school, years ago, a form of ministry. I also wrote and edited a newsletter for our Christian community some 20 years ago.
However, in the last 10 years, I cannot see where defined Christian ministry has been an active part of my life. Being a wife and mother and working outside of the home has occupied the majority of my time. Yes, serving as a wife and mother qualify as ministries but my heart did not grasp it to the degree required of the task.
So, I was bothered when I read a devotional on Psalm 92. It said that we will keep producing fruit in our old age. But what if I haven’t been producing it thus far–or at least not in the way and to the extent that I thought would qualify? It seemed like I had missed the boat and time had run out for me.
Then I looked more closely at Psalm 92 and found encouragement for this time in my life even though I am feeling old and decrepit at times. Our young men are moving on with their lives and I am working in a job that provides a nice summer break along with short seasonal breaks. This could provide the ideal time for Hubby and me to move into more active ministry and see the fulfillment of Psalm 92 in our lives.
For those of you who may be in the same boat as I am, I pray you find these words encouraging:
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
“They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him.'” Psalm 92:12-15 NIV
Wherever you are in life, are you finding a ministry that is producing fresh fruit?
This has been so heavy on my heart for a long time now. With grandchildren and working full time I pray daily the the energy to do more than I do. Thank-you so much for this post today.
Love this! I’ve been struggling with this same thought and feeling so exhausted that I can’t imagine being of much use to His kingdom. Thank you for sharing!! Anita
As we slow down I think most of us struggle with this. Although my husband works at a Christian University and is worship leader in our local church, I found my ministry to children coming to a screeching halt. Then I was asked to teach the senior adults…so with that and my writing I find I didn’t stop ministering — God just changed my focus.
May you find joy tucked in your week!
This was a lovely and encouraging post. I have often felt that somehow I’ve “missed my calling” – that it was “too late” to be effective for the Lord. The problem is this – that’s exactly what the enemy wants us to believe!! I truly believe that if we are yielded to the Lord, and looking to Him to guide us, then He does indeed have us in ministry. Sometimes He just defines it differently than we do!
That being said, I find that blogging provides a wonderful way to be in ministry. The Lord uses it in many ways…
…not the least of which is to bring us together with other believers!!
Great encouragement! When you’re 30 something you think you’ll never slow down like all those older people who complain all the time. But life happens and bodies slow down no matter your state of mind. How like our God to use His people in all stages of life. Like Pamela said, it may just be a change in focus, but He’s not finished with us yet.
I’ve always really loved the symbolism of fruit in the Bible – thank you for drawing my attention to another instance! And judging by the comments people have left for you, it looks like your blog just might be considered a piece of fruit, eh? 😀 Beautiful Post!!!
It is encouraging to know that God always thinks He can use us, as long as we make ourselves available to Him. I especially like the image of staying fresh and green. 😉
Hi Friends, sorry I have not responded sooner. I’ve been missing in action, down with bronchitis and pretty sick. It’s good to feel well and back again.
Anita, I’m so glad that this post blessed you. I know what you mean about feeling exhausted.
Ginger, I think the greatest blessing I got from how the Spirit spoke to me through this devotional was how the Lord can use us when our life slows down, even if it seems our life has been wrapped up in the daily, sacred routines.
Pamela, thanks for the encouragement to look for the new focus on ministry He is leading us to.
Ruth, I definitely feel the change in the energy level and what I can do at this age. Glad He uses us at any stage.
Sharon, your words were so encouraging and enlightening. Yep, you’re right. Satan does want us to think we have “missed it.” Thanks for the reminder. Need to keep my eyes on what the Lord is considering as ministry.
Teagan, so good to see you here. Thank you for the encouragement. I pray this blog is a fruit of the Lord. That’s my heart’s desire.
Deidra, the key–keeping ourselves open to Him. Thank you for stopping by.
From My Heart to Yours,
This is a very thought provoking post, Janis. It isn’t always easy to know what God wants us to be doing especially as we get older which is definitely where I am in life. I’m convinced he led Ginger and me into starting the Spiritual Sundays blog. Ginger is very busy with working full time and spending time with her grandkids and other family members. I have a lot of extra time and I spend so much of it on the computer. I thank God for this ministry. People like you make blogging worth while.
I think you could link this to Food on Fridays, thanks to that yummy looking banana photo at the top! 🙂
Seriously, though, this is a deep thought and as I look ahead I find hope through your own walk. Thank you.