I have two lemon trees that stand right beside my home. I enjoy watching them grow, blossom, and bear fruit. Recently, when I returned home from a trip, I was surprised to find the first tree absolutely loaded with lemons.
As I did my homework, I learned that the second tree had experienced what is commonly called "fruit drop."
A lemon tree actually goes through three periods of fruit drop every year. The first drop occurs when 70 to 80 percent of the flowers fall from the tree without ever setting fruit. This is followed up a week or so later by pea-sized fruit that drop from the tree as well. And then the third drop occurs in the spring when the fruit is about the size of a golf ball, due to environmental factors that can't be controlled – sudden changes in temperature and heavy rains. But no matter what causes it to happen, it is certain God brilliantly created the tree to drop fruit sometimes.
God created the lemon tree to set more fruit than it can support, knowing that there could be fruit drop along the way. There's a valuable lesson contained for us here. When we become born-again Believers, we're so on fire for God that we want to do it all for Him. Like we are making up for lost years, we begin dreaming of starting businesses, teaching, preaching, going to the nations, painting, landscaping, writing, and so much more. It seems that whatever grabs our interest, even if just for a moment, we are passionate about it and want to do it for the Lord.
But as time passes, we stand in the Son and we're nurtured and watered, maturing like the tree. We then realize that we may have more projects blossoming than we can support – surely God hasn't called us to do everything that needs to be done. We've spread ourselves so thin that it seems nothing is completed with excellence, if it even gets completed at all.
During these seasons of realization, Holy Ghost shears go into action – it's time for fruit drop to occur in our lives. Since we have taken on too much, God has to prune things out of our lives so we can do the few things He has actually called us to do with excellence.
The Gospel states the process clearly in John 15:2 when Jesus said, "Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit." It is important to realize it is the Master Gardener who "repeatedly" prunes every branch.
He is Cultivating You to Bear More Fruit!
As I picked the fruit shown in the photo to the right, I knew the Lord was showing His abundance for 2015. I decree over you that 2015 is the year you will bear more fruit than you can even ask for or even imagine. But in order for you to bear good and luscious fruit, you must first experience some fruit drop in your life. Things you thought God told you to do, but you now realize were birthed out of your zeal, will fall to the ground. And the fruit that remains on the tree will continue to grow and mature, and the branches will be able to support its fruit. I know that some of you are being pruned right now and experiencing fruit drop in your lives. The winds and storms of life have caused some things to fall that could not be properly supported. But the good news is that no matter what season you're in right now, the Lord has His eye on you. He is carefully watching you, cultivating you, and making sure that none of His fruit falls to the ground. God wants the very best for you and He will guide your dreams and promises into fruition.
In these last days, we need to be certain that we're doing what we are called to do and blossoming where we are called to blossom. That way we will produce fruit that comes from the Spirit and not fruit that we have cultivated with our flesh.
God promises us in Deuteronomy 7:13, "...He will love you, bless you, and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your land, your grain, your new wine, and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock in the land which He swore to your fathers to give you."
No matter what you are going through today, know that God either causes or allows fruit drop to happen in your life so you can bear more fruit for His glory. Though it may be painful at the moment, God is truly working together all things for your good (see Romans 8:28). If life gives you lemons, then make lemonade.