Green Tomatoes

Green Tomato

We have an enormous tomotao plant growing in our garden! I've used two stakes in my attempt to hold it up and I think it the last couple of rainy and hot days it has grown another 10 centimeters or so!! There are seven or eight green tomatoes with a LOT of little yellow flowers with the promise of many more tomatoes through the summer. 

Two of our tomatoes are quite large. They seem to grow larger almost every day. But they are not ready to pick. They are certainly large enough to pick but the problem is that they are still completely green. Although it's exciting to see the fruit (in this case a vegetable, right?) growing and it's tempting to want to use it, the time is just not right. No matter how needy our salad is, or no matter how helpful it would be to use them, to do so would be just wrong. The same thing is true of our eggplant and if we picked and tried to eat the grapes that also grow in our garden the result would be tragic . . . not at all the sweet juicy grapes in our imagination!

Our fruits and vegitables need time to mature before they are ready to harvest. To harvest them now would be to miss the sweet flavors and the nutrition they are meant to provide.

Bearing fruit is not enough. It needs to be nurtured and given time to mature so that it will bring pleasure to the owner of the garden. In John 15 Jesus explains that we are branches of the True Vine (Himself) and that our purpose for being alive is to bear fruit. It's exciting to see fruit emerging in our life. But we need to wait patiently to let God do with our life whatever is needed to bring the budding fruit to it's ripe and full sweetness. In our garden the growing and still green fruit needs many days of rain and hot, humid days of summer before it will become ripe enough to make it into our salad for dinner. It's not the fruit that decides when it's time to be harvested---used harvest time is up to the judgement and skill of the Master. God will harvest the fruit of our life when He decides the right time has come. Before the harvest will come many long days of waiting. Some of those days will be hot, humid or filled with rain. And some will be delightful cool bright days of joy. 

And that's another thing. The vegitables and fruit in our garden are not becoming ripe so we can look at their beauty and be happy that it grew here. We are anticipating eating them! Fruits and vegetables exist to be used, enjoyed and consumed in whatever ways the Master wants to use them. 

I'm still learning to rejoice and relax through the hard times in the secure knowledge that there is fruit that must be ripened. There is fruit that will bring pleasure to my Father but it may not be time yet. Patient waiting is part of the fruit-bearing process. When the trials and struggles are coming upon you day after hot-humid day---when it feels like our Father has forgotten you and left your fruit to rot on the vine, don't despair. He has not forgotten. He's just patiently waiting for your fruit to ripen into the sweet thing He has created. He will use it for His purpose at just the right time. And in the meantime, our precious work is to wait for His time, to rest in Him and to trust in His gentle wisdom. 

So now I'm off to go check on the progress of our tomatoes!