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…