Last summer we lived in the desert with a very small yard that had no room for a garden. I like to grow things so I planted some tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in pots. The tomatoes and peppers produced fruit, but my large pot of cucumbers with three plants didn’t produce a single cucumber. When I first saw flowers on the plants I excitedly checked them for female flowers as those are the ones that produce the fruit after pollination with the male flowers. I lived in Las Vegas and ordinarily bee’s will pollinate the flowers, but since I didn’t have many bee’s visiting my yard I was ready to hand pollinate to have cucumbers. The plants started out with a few flowers and before long were covered in many little yellow flowers. I searched daily for female flowers and found none! I was truly amazed that every flower ever produced on those three plants were only male flowers and the plant never produced any cucumbers. About mid-summer I became tired of the daily watering and pulled the plants out.
In the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:1-9), Jesus tells a story about a man who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. For three years he looked for fruit and found none. He told his gardener to cut it down. But the gardener asked for one more year to give it extra special care to see if it would produce fruit after all.
We all have opportunities to produce the fruit of God in our lives. Just simple things like speaking kindly to our children rather than with irritation. Spending time with our husband or wife rather than staring at the computer screen or reading a book. We can practice forbearance with an annoying co-worker or neighbor, bring peace to an argument, or speak joyful rather than negative words, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22,23