learning how to wait, stretch and grow



I spied passionflower fruit growing on a neighbour’s fence, marvelled at its bold colour, resilience and strength at a time when most other garden life was drab, dead or dying. Those golden globes hinted at summer indulgence combined with harvest bounty.

They brightened up my day each time I saw them. I wondered at the way God pours such delights and insights into plants. Because the more I thought about it, they held a secret lesson within.

In our stretching and growing toward the light seasons, we may have to wait a while, sometimes years, before fruit appears. Impatient as this might make us, we have to trust that God knows what He is doing.

The fruit of joy is no exception, though it can be sparked into life, or suppressed, by how we view and react to our lives and circumstances.

If I focus most on my pain, fatigue and problems, then before long I feel deflated at least, if not discouraged. Such things are an everyday, pressing reality that infringes on the hours, but I don’t have to let them become all I think about, or preoccupy so much space in my mind.

You and I can choose what to focus on the most – blessings or bad things, pain or purpose, joy or distress. Our days are moulded by what we stretch toward, those things that help us to grow most Christ-like, or not.

I discovered that passionflowers are in a botanical group called woody climbers. They cling to hedges, hang down from heights to reveal their magnificence. Flowers appear in summer through autumn, and they tend to lift their faces to full heat of sun, or sit calmly in dappled shade.

They are of a hardy disposition, bearing exposure to full frost and winter’s cruel cropping. However, despite stealing their tops away, winter cannot steal their ability to bloom again when new shoots appear in Spring.

Maybe you are going through a wintry season of the soul where all looks cropped and bare, and you wonder when fruit will appear again. Maybe you are growing impatient with seeing so little fruit of joy, or another fruit of the Spirit in your life.

These flowers and their beautiful fruit speak to us of having a beautiful purpose, a time to shine, a part to play in the garden of life, even when all feels dead around us. You are made to manifest God’s beauty within,  good godly fruit that is visible to others, if not always apparent to you.

No matter how long it takes, as we stay faithful where God has placed us, fruitfulness will arise, though it’s often invisible to our own eyes. But the beauty of it will be a golden glow of grace to others seeking God’s face.


Welcome to #day4 of 31 days of journeying into joy.

How does your focus affect your joy and happiness?

Please share below…



10 thoughts on “learning how to wait, stretch and grow

  1. Oh Joy, I am so sorry but every time I try to click on the link to read this post, I get the message “page not found.” I am going to pray hard that the enemy of our souls cannot keep your words from being sent out for those who need to hear them! You have a special gift from God, and for whatever reason, there seems to be a huge wall right now! Know that I am lifting you up to our Lord now, my sister!



    Sent from Surface Pro

    • Bettie, this time human error is to blame, sad to say. I accidentally pressed publish too soon on this post instead of scheduling it, because I was trying to get ahead on the #write31days series! 😕 It’s now waiting to be published in a few days time as it should have been. So you will receive the full post as planned. I remain ever thankful for your prayers, especially as my other website is still causing concern. Bless you, friend. xo

  2. Joy, so thankful this post finally came through! At just the right time too–it was a hard night physically for me, and this blessed me so much: “No matter how long it takes, as we stay faithful where God has placed us, fruitfulness will arise, though it’s often invisible to our own eyes.” God is so good to bring the fruit in HIS time! xoxo

    • Bettie, I’m sorry for the delay in these words getting out today. Not sure why that happened – more technical gremlins, I guess. 😦 I’m more than sorry for the way pain is pervading your life and body, and humbly grateful you have found a bit of respite here. Hang in there, friend. Praying for ease of the severity of your symptoms and for deeper rest to come. Be gentle with yourself as you recover some needful strength. xoxo

  3. This spoke to me today – “Our days are moulded by what we stretch toward, those things that help us to grow most Christ-like, or not.” It is so true. If I focus on all that is wrong my attitude goes downhill and affects everyone around me. But if I focus on Christ and on the good things, I am much more content and happy.

    We have the passion vine growing profusely and wildly in our yard. It threatened to take over the garden! But the flowers are so beautiful!!!! Our fruit never turns the yellow but is ripe when it is heavy and soft. I made a mistake the first year thinking they had to be yellow so I missed using them. Then my daughter told me that some varieties don’t turn yellow. I don’t eat them much but my granddaughter loves them!

    Blessings to you!

    • Gayl, I’m pleased to hear you have this lovely flower growing profusely in your garden. What a treat! The fruit is even more magnificent with its bright orange glowing globes. And I can’t help but agree with your words here: “if I focus on Christ and on the good things, I am much more content and happy.” Amen, my friend, me too! May you stay blessed as you go through the rest of the week. ❤

  4. What a beautiful devotional, Joy! It is so true that sometimes it takes longer than we would like to bear beautiful fruit, and yet if we are patient and keep leaning towards the light of Christ, yes, eventually, our lives will reflect His glory. Blessed to have met you via #TestimonyTuesday.

    • Hi Linda. Thanks for stopping by! It’s good to connect with you. The key thing to growing spiritual fruit is to do exactly as you say: “keep leaning towards the light of Christ” and to cooperate with Holy Spirit’s work in us. I often feel He has His work cut out in trying to teach me patience! Do feel free to browse the archives here or subscribe for updates. Hope to check out your blog asap, health and energy permitting. Bless you, friend. 😊

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