We have 3 plum trees in our front yard. For years these trees put off beautiful blooms in the Spring. When the blooms fell a small fruit remained on the tree. Every year I thought, we will have a good crop this year. But the first Spring storm would knock the small fruits to the ground before they reached maturity. My husband threatened to cut down the trees, but I talked him out of it. For more than ten years this cycle continued. Beautiful blooms. Small, green fruit. Nothing.
Until one year I decided to pray for plums.
Sounds silly right?
Anyway, that year the fruit held on a little longer. But just when the fruit was almost ready for harvest, a southern thunder storm came and knocked the plums to the ground. Hundreds of them. Those little fruits made a mess. Yellow jackets swarmed as the plums rotted on the ground.
I almost gave up. But I continued to pray for plums. This spring, once again, the trees bloomed beautifully. The plums held on through many storms. I thought this was the year. Right? Almost.
We’d actually gotten a few plums, when a storm came through. Because the fruit was near to peak ripeness most split when they hit the ground. Some of them were salvable, so we sifted through the mess and picked a few off the ground.
For some reason, I looked up and saw that the tree still held a lot of plums. I estimated that in a few days they’d be ready to pick.
When I returned a few days later to pick the plums, I couldn’t get under the tree for the rotten stench. Again, I almost gave up. But those plums looked so good. I love plums. So I went and got a rake, and cleaned the rotten fruit (that had fell during the previous storm) from around the tree. Once the ground was cleaned, picking the plums was possible. With a ladder, a bucket, and lot of sweat.
We picked about 4 gallons of plums this year.
Is your life like those plum trees? Have you tried to do good in the past and failed? Have your past failures produced rotten fruit?
Today, you may have a good life. You may have some great things to offer people; friendship, love, care. But not everyone will sift through your rotten past to see the goodness you have to offer. Maybe, you need to clean up some of that rottenness? Did you steal $20 from someone to get high? Consider paying it back.
Why? Because doing so is like raking the bad fruit from underneath your branches. It helps to remove the stench of the past.
Not everyone is willing to give you a second chance. That’s okay. Some people need to stay in your past. But if you right some of your wrongs, people will see the change in you. They may be skeptical at first, but if you continue to live a life that pleases God, He will bless that effort.
Pray about it. See where He leads you.
If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. ~ Ezekiel 33:15-16