How Many Oranges?
By Paris Renae
So do not worry, saying “What shall we eat?”or “What shall we drink?”or “What shall we wear?” Matthew 6:31 NIV
I live in citrus land. Did you know that from the time you plant a little orange tree until it produces the first couple of oranges is at least three to four years?
A sweet lady recently told me she moved here thirty-six years ago. She never thought she would be here more than a couple years. She recalled wanting to plant an orange tree or two when they arrived but didn't think it would have enough time to bear fruit before she moved on.
She never got that tree planted. She asked "How many oranges could I have picked by now?"
It made me think how much we are like that. Is it that we lack faith to think things will turn out like we want? That we don't want to start and not finish? What holds us back from small orange tree dreams and even those bigger?
Like Jesus says in the verse above do not worry about things, not even things like: 'Should I plant an orange tree?'.
Just think of all the little things we worry or fret over. Which shirt, what purse? Which restaurant, what time? Not to mention the bigger things - move across country, go on a mission trip, sell a house?
I love that just a couple verses later Jesus says:"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 NIV
But why does He tell us not to worry? Because He has given us promise upon promise. Long before Jesus walked the earth - even as He set stars in place and breathed life into those first lungs - His promises were for sure and for always.
I like to think I keep my promises. To be a good friend, wife, mother. To get my work done. To help someone in their time of need. Truth is, we all fall short on our promises at one time or another.
But it's not that way with our Promiser -"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 NIV
We have to ask ourselves how much time have we wasted with our worrying - how many oranges could we have picked? (Souls touched, love given, friendships forged - if only we had planted the tree.)
Oh Father, we must confess, we fret and worry. We hesitate and miss out on just what You were leading us to. Let us go boldly each day, planting seeds for You and rejoicing in the harvest only You can reap. Help us to hold fast to the Hope we know is ours. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
© 2018 by Paris Renae. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Wednesday, 22 December 2021.