Every once in a while we have a moment where God reveals something profound to us. I experienced this recently and would love to share it with you. I will start at the beginning of the story of our apple trees.
When my son, Isaac, was in Grade One at OCS, Ms. V took the class on a field trip to an apple orchard. I was thrilled to go along as a parent chaperone. It was great fun, and we came home with a bag of delicious apples that we quickly devoured. Isaac was intrigued with the idea of growing his own apple trees, so we decided to try it.
We did some research and made a plan of action. We took the seeds from a couple apples and put them in a closet for a few months to completely dry out. We then placed them in the fridge in a wet paper towel until they sprouted. We planted the sprouts in little pots and watched them grow into tiny trees.
A year and a half after we started the process, we planted four of the apple trees outside in our yard. Three of them survived and have been growing every year. We continued to do research to figure out how to tend to these trees, which included trimming, fertilizing, and pruning. We learned that it can take up to 10 years for the first apples to appear and so we waited.
Last summer, we hit the ten year mark and we still had not seen any sign of fruit. I told Isaac that I thought we should cut them down, that they were probably duds and would never flower and give us apples. They don’t look great and they are a pain to mow around! But Isaac was not on board with this plan. He was invested in these apple trees, even though they were not producing any fruit.
This spring, as I was pulling into my yard, I noticed something different about the trees. They had white on them! I let out a little yelp and ran to see if they might actually have flowers. They did! After all these years of tending these trees, we have flowers!
A couple mornings later, as I was thinking about the students at OCS, it became clear to me that our children are sometimes like these apple trees. We tend and prune and care for them, but we don’t always see the fruit we think they should be bearing. We are tempted to give up on them but continue to pour into their lives with the hope that they will develop deep roots and a strong foundation that will enable them to bear fruit as they mature in Christ.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
It is so exciting to see our students growing in their love for the Lord, and I pray that they will bear much fruit as they mature. I also pray that God will give us patience to continue pouring into and nurturing our students who do not seem to be bearing fruit, knowing that our labour is not in vain.
May we, as staff, parents, grandparents, and caregivers, tend diligently to our students and children so that they develop deep roots and grow to bear an abundance of spiritual fruit in their lives!
“Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Orangeville Christian School