Our desires for fruitfulness are inborn.
Certainly we can try to be fruitful in greedy, selfish ways, or by wrong means. But the desire itself is not wrong. We were designed that way, which is why God told us at the start to be fruitful and multiply. He didn't say it as a burden - He meant us to be happy, satisfied in His abundance, to fulfill our role of kings and queens.
Yet after we let the Serpent twist our views of God and His goodness, we were sent from our perfect Garden. Now, roaming the dark and thorny world, we are thwarted at every turn.
Thoughts that wander into gloom and despair.
I went out yesterday with a friend to the middle-of-nowhere West Texas desert prairie, and walked around a bit amongst the thorn-laden mesquites and rocks and dirt. I thought of a choice I felt I had to make recently, which hurt someone dear to me and made me sad as well. The consequences of that choice are more difficult to bear than I could have imagined.
Crackling grass scorched in the summer wind.
Earth parched and dusty. Nothing could hope to grow here.
But then, in the death and stillness of the air, there rises the sweet smell of wildflowers, and their tenacious blossoms, prickly and small and lovely, shine at my feet.
I think, perhaps, our lives can be like this. Sometimes everything seems not only unfruitful, but even dead.
Wait. Out of the death of loss, something is about to grow.
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls —
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
All the food, all reason to keep working, all the hope for the future appears to be gone. Nothing is fulfilling its designed purpose.
Yet the writer is not simply accepting the death and barrenness as his lot to be born mournfully, with a face of woe and despair. Instead, he's actually choosing from deep in his soul to smile, to be glad! Because he remembers God is good, and He saves in more abundance and more mysterious ways than in making wildflowers spring up in the desert.
I want to choose joy. I want to grow old with smile wrinkles outnumbering my complaining lines. I want to rejoice in the Lord when my life feels like a barren desert. Because that is the best growing soil for faith in God who makes all things new.