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Unexpected Fruit

It has been a tremendously hot summer here in Oklahoma. I have lived here 30 years and I never remember a summer like this.

In the winter, I decided that I would plant only heirloom seeds in my garden. I was so excited to get those seedlings in the ground come springtime. One thing I didn’t know is that heirloom seeds are more about quality than quantity. Also, they are much more sensitive to heat, disease, and pests. We had at least 40 days of 100+ heat and very little rain. Actually, if it was just 100 degrees, I think my garden would have been fine, but there were weeks of 110+ heat. The highest temperature was 118 degrees; that’s the air temperature in the shade! Needless to say, my heirlooms didn’t fair well.

So, in mid July, I went to the nursery hoping to find some hybrid pepper plants I could put in the ground. The lady said they only had a few left. “They aren’t worth much because they are at the end of their life, but you can have them for a quarter a piece.” She thought I was wasting my time, energy, and money. I couldn’t help but sense the Lord’s strong desire to teach me something in this. I could sense that these pepper plants were valuable to Him for some reason.

I transplanted them into my garden and daily cared for them. I even covered them with an umbrella until their roots could get established. I had to water them several times a day, but I just knew all that work would pay off and the Lord would teach me something from this. Two weeks ago, I went out to water the garden and there were so many blooms that I couldn’t count them all! Well, those blooms have turned into little tender peppers. As I was delightfully looking at my peppers, the Lord spoke to my heart and began to teach me a valuable lesson.

I have been spending a great deal of time in various nursing homes lately. I have come to absolutely adore seniors. I have to say, however, my heart breaks for those precious people whose bodies and/or minds have bound them to a bed or chair. Many of them have no one. They wander the halls in their wheel chairs, desperate for a simple smile or the slightest touch. They are the forgotten ones, useless to society (in the opinion of the world), a burden:( ……….just like the nursery worker who told me those pepper plants were no good cause they were at the end of their life. She was eager to get rid of those plants cause they were useless, a burden to take care of. She was getting ready to throw them away.

Well, God sees these precious seniors in a different light. Moses himself was eighty when he began his ministry. Grey hair is described as a crown and blessing in the Bible. A person of age is a rare jewel in God’s eyes. God wants us to see their value and invest our time and effort in caring for them. Many seniors give up on their purpose because they believe a lie. Age is a gift, an opportunity. Indeed, they can bear much fruit in their old age….. Perhaps even more than if they were young! Are you ready to believe in them too?