Fruitfulness is biblically the direct result of faithfulness. When the Bible talks about any kind of fruitfulness, it is explaining how to become fruitful due to having faith in Him and His Ways – but not just being faithful, but being also obedient. There are several instances in both the Old and New Testaments where you can see this, from Adam to Noah to Abraham and beyond.
Take the parable about pruning the vine, for instance; John 15:1-6. When God gives us an opportunity to bless others, we ought to take it. Otherwise, we may have to undergo a little pruning action. Now, I truly get it that Jesus uses this as a metaphor for us needing to have guidance, but I am so grateful that he doesn’t cut off appendages in order to direct our growth.
It makes sense when I look at Seeds of Grace, as a vine of the Lord – and He has done a little trimming and directing with regard to people and projects. This pruning that we have undergone hasn’t been easy, but I can absolutely see it’s necessity. In order for any vine to be fruitful, you must prune off the unproductive or diseased branches.
But you must also fertilize the vine – feeding it with nutrients that will help it to bear the fruit. In Luke, chapter 13:6-9 we read about how the vine is given another opportunity to receive nurturing and bear fruit. The vineyard keeper implores the owner of the vineyard to just allow him to fertilize and attend to the vine personally, to get it to bear fruit. In this instance, I see Christ’s hand leading and guiding the leadership of Seeds of Grace. He is offering His word as the fertilizer – a guide by which we serve Him in our capacity as the vine, his as the vineyard keeper.
God blessed me with the vision for Seeds of Grace. I often ask Him in wonder, “why me?” and He is so faithful in asking me back, “Why not you, Karole?”. His loving hands have covered me through this growing process, just as they have covered Seeds of Grace. He has brought people in as the fertilizer – causing the organization to grow over the last season, beyond what I could have even comprehended. And He has trimmed off those unproductive branches – mostly the result of my own efforts to direct Seeds of Grace into my own vision that strayed from what God has in mind.
My trek as the director of Seeds of Grace parallels the garden metaphors that Jesus used to teach. He plants seeds, they take root, and grow – He is describing the organic process by which Seeds of Grace has come into being. If you haven’t ever read the full story, I would encourage you to do so and perhaps be inspired by what God is doing. Nevertheless, these planting and growing and even pruning metaphors that Jesus uses throughout His ministry are truly fitting for Seeds of Grace.
But the harvest is the happy ending of all of the parables – and the goal, right? The harvest for Seeds of Grace isn’t just the food that we are able to deliver to the local food bank, put into a child’s backpack or make a meal at a local feeding center. The harvest is the hearts that are turned toward Him in the process. The harvest includes those whose gratefulness for fresh fruits and vegetables is overshadowed by the genuine humility that someone would dig in the dirt for them. The harvest also includes those who dig in the dirt and may or may not understand the impact they are having on the child, whose favorite snack typically comes in some sort of plastic foil bag and might have one natural ingredient. All of those gardening parables are about the harvest.
Faith in God and obedience to Him will always reap a harvest – more than you could possibly measure. Please contact me if you need encouragement to explore where the Seeds of Grace are being planted in your heart!