The Burden and the Blessing


 

This happened quite awhile ago. My hands cupped over my face, my shoulders slumped from exhaustion, telling God that I couldn’t do it anymore. The weight, the strain, and the breaking that we were going through with our teenager, was beyond what we could bear. 

It seemed all of our resources were going into this one child. I began feeling resentful that at the end of the day, I had no energy, emotionally, spiritually, or even physically, to give to the other kids. Our house was full of fighting, sleepless nights, desperate prayers, and anxiety. 

I won’t go into anymore detail, because I guard my children very closely when it comes to writing. However, I know that I am not the only mother to feel completely overwhelmed by their maturing, hormonal, independent, strong-willed teen, or any and all of their children. I know my teen is not an exception, and I am sure by the time I get to the 5th teen in my house, I will have written a how-to-book.

 

 

Yesterday, we came home from a weekend away. Our lawn was in desperate need of a drink, and so we spent the first hour of our arrival, watering our plants, grass, and trees. I stood under our apple tree, bracing myself for any falling caterpillars. EWWWWW

I held the garden hose at the roots and let the water flow. There are so many apples on the tree this year. I started planning in my head what I was going to do with so many apples. Applesauce for sure and apple pie no doubt! 

As I watered I noticed how much the tree had grown this year, and how the weight and cluster of all the apples were weighing down the branches. Then I remembered by cupped hands, my slumped shoulders, and my desperate prayers.


 

During that time, God spoke to me in a picture, like He does a lot. I often ask God when I am in a trial time to show me what is going on. I close my eyes and wait for an image to come into my mind. This is often how I hear God. He is a God of pictures. That’s why Jesus spoke in parables when trying to explain a deeper meaning to his disciples. A picture says a thousand words. 

As I asked God to show me what was going on in my life with our teen. I saw a tree. A tree filled with fruit, very similar to our apple tree in our backyard. There was a large branch on the tree that had the largest fruit you had ever seen. The fruit  was so large, that the branches were slumped completely over by the weight of it. The tree looked like it would snap at the pressure. The image continued. The fruit eventually ripened, and then softly broke off from the tree, then the branches that seemed so frail, and burdened suddenly sprung back to life.

God, reminded me that the fruit in our lives, (the things in our life we are responsible for growing, nurturing and releasing) create strain. The bigger the fruit, the greater the strain. Some fruit pushing us to the point of breaking.

It is so important that when we are weighed down by the fruit in our life we are watered regularly. Some of us are so dry, our fruit has stopped growing.  We’ve been in the heat too long, we MUST find water! 

 

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:8

 

When all we can feel is the breaking and burden of our responsibilities. We must remember the blessing that is to come, and the necessity of this season in your life. If we don’t grow the fruit, we don’t eat the pies!

 

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