There it is, this year’s cherry crop.

Or was. A robin got it!

Last year was such a fruitful year, branches weighed heavy with apples, peaches, pears, plums…

This year, nada.

That false spring, that early warm time, fooled all those trees into pushing forth tender blooms… then, bam! The “winter that wasn’t” suddenly poured down such piles of snow and sudden cold, that all delicate small things sighed and died!

My life runs rife with such surprises. “Fruit-filled” days, heavy-blessed, can (and have) suddenly become… not! What do I do?

Is there a lesson in the garden?

Peppers burgeon with blossoms and “fruit.” I’ve already snip-harvested fresh ones twice because their weight would break still-fragile stalks.

Peas came so abundantly we need not sow more rows come fall.

Broccoli’s third picking sits waiting right now for processing.

Digging for the treasure of bright “new potatoes,” we’ve already unearthed (and cooked up) four batches. (Yum! There’s no potato like a fresh-dug “new” potato!)

And summer looks threatened with burial beneath great piles of zucchinis

So much for veggies, so far, anyhow. The corn, sweet potatoes, and winter squash are yet to show their stuff. But yes, the corn stalks were “knee high by the Fourth of July.”

And though the fruit trees give nothing this year, among the bushes, it’s a berry good year!

Finally, the herbs wait, lush and lavish… I must harvest lavender fragrance this morning, and wash and tie up bunches of basil, tasty thyme, good Greek oregano, and savory sage. And… and…

When my life — or yours, dear Christian friend — hits what seems a time of fruitlessness, we need to look around. More possibilities may stand present, waiting, than we were noticing, staring at those empty trees — possibilities we never noticed, although perhaps present all along: Maybe new growth those low-bent branches obscured. Or, amid the weeds now needing attention may lie new surprises. (Like lettuce, garlic, and parsley that sprang back up from last year here, with winter so mild and all.) Different years (or other time periods) often produce different fruits.

And what if, what if

“the fig tree doesn’t blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the olive fail
and the fields yield no food.
The flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls…”*

or no chickens in the coops… ?

What then?

“Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.”*

Why? Because He is my source of all my fruit. Because He’s the one Who makes water into wine, Who blossoms the desert as the rose, Who gives manna daily in barren wasteland and springs water up from rocks. Because…

“The LORD God is my strength…”*

and even then

“He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills” *(Habakkuk 3:17-19)

And He, the faithful Promise Keeper, gives this promise:

“Those who are planted in the house of the LORD 
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourish” (Psa 92:13-14).

May God keep my eyes open to all His possibilities.


 *Habakkuk 3:17-19



8 thoughts on “What to Do When Your Life Turns “Fruitless”

  1. Possibilities. Oh, so much truth here! Thank you so much for this reminder, for telling me to look around. I needed this.

  2. You have quite a garden, friend! Our tomatoes, beans, and blackberries did fine, but the heat and ongoing water rationing have gotten to our lavender, peppers, and melon. Allen didn’t plant any summer squash this year, because it has indeed buried us in the past!

    Thank you for these deeply encouraging insights. You are a blessing, Sylvia!

  3. Hi Mary,
    I think I really wrote it for myself. I need to see the possibilities myself, and realize there are different seasons for Him to produce in us/me different kinds of fruit. It’s too easy sometimes to see the absence of what we’d like to produce and miss entirely what He has in mind for us now instead.

  4. Hi Tinuviel,
    I’m so glad if you found some encouragement here. I admire your godly perseverance through your trying times. That encourages me! God bless you richly!

  5. Dear Sylvia,

    Ah, yes, I many times return to the very poignant verses of Habakkuk


    Thanks for these wise words which we “mature” Christians know, but we let other words drown them out so easily.

    BTW, I’d love to be a gleaner in your garden! I have yet to get one “fruit” from any vine here!

    Blessings, Dear Gardening Friend,

  6. Come glean, Dawn! A number of these vines are wild, were here before us. (But those you have to get to before the bear — the BIG bear!) Maybe you need to grow trees! That’s where we seem to have the fruitful years only rarely! Good picture of how God gives us unique gifts He wants us to share — or different ministry fruits during different times.

  7. I love this because I love gardening and have really missed it this year. You brought such lovely images to mind. The application you drew from your garden resonates a little expressed truth. We likely produce more fruit than we are aware of. I can think back on several times in my life when my garden was limited to a small patch of dirt. I was so focused on what I was not producing, that I almost missed what God was doing. Even now, when my garden is limited to one tomato plant that has one small bloom on it, I failed to see the fruit of eggs from the chicken coop and the freezer full of venison. There is a harvest! I may not be busy in “church” activities and I haven’t met as many “unchurched” as I’d like to, but there is still a harvest. There is a harvest in my home and online. Wow. Thank you for blessing me today. This is the one thing I needed to read.

    P.S. Ummm… where’s your picture? 😉

  8. And I love your comment, Tereasa, because your own insights are waking me up to more blessings I wasn’t noticing! There may be more harvest both online and even in my present and scattered household than I may be aware of, and what an exciting, blessed thought that is!

    Isn’t it astounding how often God does that, in some tidbit somewhere gives us the one thing we need?

    … I was thinking all those soothing, warm thoughts as I read your comment, then…
    burst out laughing at your PS! (after I stupidly thought, “What picture?” God bless you, funny friend!)

Comments are now closed.