by Joani Schultz
We and God share a mysterious partnership that grows fruit. We plant seeds; we and God do our part. Then we want to see immediate results.
Not so fast.
God’s in the business of growing fruit—and that doesn’t happen overnight.
Here’s my dear friend Sheila Halasz’ story about her Lifetree Café ministry:
Our old building is almost packed up. We’re opening a new building this weekend. The old Lifetree Café wall hanging is still in the old building and doesn’t have a permanent home yet. I was asked to pick up all the old material. I prayed that Lifetree wasn’t dead and I could still see fruit from our tree.
So when I attended the core meeting for the pre-grand opening for our church tonight, God had some encouragement for me.
I looked at a brand-new area for a special friends ministry. The director shared that it was through our Lifetree Film Fest a few years back that we began a working relationship with the special needs community. They served as volunteers, and we gave all proceeds to them. Now they have a full ministry and are willing to train new churches in starting a special friends ministry at no charge.
Who says a film festival does not last into the future?
After that, a lady approached me and said she had just been talking about me. She had attended one of our Lifetree Café episodes five years ago where we discussed teen pregnancy. We invited a local organization to listen and also pass out information. She has been volunteering with them since then and wanted to thank me for being in our Lifetree Café ministry.
Who says an episode will not change a person’s actions for a long time?
I showed her a picture on my phone of a 4-year-old that our Lifetree Café friends had prayed for before he was born. He’s now in my Christian preschool, and the picture was of him praying. Yes, the child we prayed for is now able to pray on his own.
Who says that God does not stay in people’s lives and remain active?
If you meet anyone who ever says any of these things, please set the record straight. God is still here ready to connect with us in a fresh way—through a film festival that led to a special friends ministry, through a volunteer at a teen pregnancy discussion, and through a fetus who turned into a 4-year-old prayer warrior leading his family to Christ—God is there connecting.
So take heart! What you do today may not see fruit for years, but God is in the business of maturing fruit.