April 17, 2015

FRESHNESS OR FRUIT? by Bryan Norford

 Reading previous blogs on the current issue, It has become plain that most, if not all, writers go through dry periods. Which leads me once again to challenge the premise of this month’s subject. Psalm 1:3 certainly suggests our leaves should remain green all the time. But is greenness the goal? Specifically, the Psalm suggests producing fruit in season.

Which brings us to the seasons of life. We bewail the dry periods of life—they are difficult and painful—yet every tree that flourishes goes though its winter cycle of apparent deadness. In Christian terms, remaining fresh is remaining faithful during the “long night of the soul.”

Ann and I often remind young marrieds, that difficulties in the relationship are not a sign the marriage is failing. Resolving them is the bedrock of a stronger marriage and closer relationship. Good marriages are built on the tough times, just as a mariner learns his craft on the rough seas.

Many of the previous blogs indicate a freshness of understanding that comes on emerging from the dark periods. It’s not too exaggerated to say our faith and perseverance are built in those times; without them we would be spiritually poorer, and our output less real. Pat answers are for those who manage to sail through life on smooth seas.

Can we recognize the barren times as necessary as the flourishing times? After all, Ecclesiastes reminds us there is a time for everything. The particular work He has for us may require the times of searching and discovery the hard times bring.

We prefer to walk in a grassy meadow than a trackless desert, but even the inhospitable desert has a severe beauty. It is only as we emerge from the aridness we can see the grandeur of God’s plan and the hidden beauty of His handiwork.

Perhaps Corrie Ten Boom’s Poem sums it up:

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.


Every blog I’ve read this month reveals a victorious emergence from a period of barrenness. By remaining faithful, however long or short the quiet periods of germination, we will produce our fruit in season. We won’t miss it if we trust His schedule—it’s always right on time.


  1. Beautifully written wisdom! Thanks, Bryan, for reminding us of the big picture.

  2. Hi Brian! Your words are indeed a great reminder of our perseverance in our calling. Thank you!

  3. So true. I have to remind myself often that Corrie Ten Boom's ministry didn't begin until she was in her 60's. The Lord takes us through a lot of seasons, sometimes, before we're ready to do the work he's got planned. As you say, "we will produce our fruit in season." Amen to that!

  4. Hi Bryan, your words resonate with me, and that poem, too. Love it! Your post is so like Hosea 14:8b which I just read this morning: "I am like a green pine tree; your fruitfulness comes from me."

  5. Thanks for a lovely post and for sharing Corrie Ten Boom's poem. I love the last lines especially, "He gives the very best to those who leave the choices up to Him." I like how you ask, "Is greeness the goal?" You always have an interesting perspective and a word of encouragement, Bryan...thank you!

  6. Thanks Bryan for the encouragement--and for the challenge to remain faithful. And Corrie Ten Boom's poem is apropos, especially knowing her life.

  7. Beautifully and wisely, I believe you have summed up what we are all trying to say this month. Your words are satisfying and encouraging to me. Thank you.


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