Hard Work Produces Fruit

I have been working out consistently since I was 21. Previous to that I had not spent much time figuring out how to care for my body. A spark went off in me when I was 20 and I started watching what I ate and started exercising regularly for the first time. I lost 55 pounds, had to buy new clothes, had more energy, more confidence, and felt great. The fruit I saw from the new disciplines I had started was rewarding. This started my journey to figuring out how to take care of my body best. 

I love ice cream and could eat it every meal if it was healthy. I love free time and don’t always feel like spending some of that time at the gym or on my spin bike. But the habits of eating healthy and exercising have created new neuropathways in my brain over time, and I know they produce fruit that I DO want. This motivates me to keep going.

We have all heard it many times, anything worth true value usually isn’t easy and takes work. This doesn’t just apply to taking care of your body. Receiving a college degree takes time in classes, memorization, deeper understanding, practice, money, and research. Growing a garden takes watering, feeding, pruning, weeding, and attention to care over seasons. Producing a great wine takes growing grapes, harvesting, crushing, fermentation, clarification or cleaning of the wine, bottling, and then aging, sometimes for many, many years. Building a new relationship involves quality time and conversation, life experiences together, vulnerability, selflessness, patience, and grace. Good things take time, energy, and work. 

The Bible refers to this as well. Speaking of wine, It often refers to us as vineyards, needing pruning to produce great fruit in our hearts and character through our entire lives. Like my last blog talked about, the Bible refers to perseverance many times. Moses obeyed God’s commands over and over to follow His lead to free the Israelites from Pharaoh. In 1 Kings, we read incredible details of the 7 years of work God instructed Solomon in to build the temple. 

And, the Bible tells us to not give up on doing good works, on sharing the good news of Jesus. We can’t reach the entire world with His hope overnight. Sharing the gospel to all corners of the earth is taking time, energy, blood, sweat, tears, perseverance, keeping the mission in front of us, battling worldly things, suffering persecution, and the list goes on. But the fruit of that work is men, women, and CHILDREN receiving Jesus’ love, grace, and freedom. The fruit of that work is hope for the hopeless. Jesus gives people around the world the opportunity to live a more full life here and eternity in heaven with Him one day. Worth it. 

Everest is going to be hard. Probably harder than I can currently understand. But raising funds by trekking Everest base camp to help start more churches around the world share Jesus’ hope is worth it.