NEVER FAILS TO BEAR FRUIT
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream…and never fails to bear fruit.”
—Jeremiah 17:7-8d (NIV)
Trees were not plentiful in Israel and most grew by sources of water like an oasis or a stream. Jeremiah’s simile indicates a person with confidence in the Lord is like a deep-rooted tree by the stream that bears fruit faithfully year after year in all kinds of weather.
The most remarkable report I’ve heard from China is about a Christian lady in prison during the “anti-spiritual pollution campaign” in the mid-eighties. She spent her time in prison hand carving scripture verses in miniature lettering with a sharpened end of a toothbrush on the walls and even on the frame of the cot in her cell. Years later she actually met another person who subsequently spent time in the same cell and came to Christ through reading those verses over and over.
One year when visiting Christians in the north of China, I asked the whereabouts of Aunty Mei Bo. This short octogenarian medical doctor, I was told, was away on a missions outreach in spiritually needy Tibet. The next summer she was home and very anxious to hear of our group experience in Tibet—the rooftop of the world—since she was planning another mission trip there soon. She concluded, “Jesus is saying, ‘Hurry up and get the job done so I can come back again!’”
Aunty Mei Bo often stored Bibles from foreign couriers in her home where she lived alone. One day the Public Security Police raided her home and confiscated all the Christian materials they found. Later in the day she found a JESUS video they had missed. So off to the police station she headed with the video.
The young lady at the desk looked askance in her direction. “I want to talk to the Chief of Police!” Mei Bo demanded firmly. “Today his men were at my house and they did not see this,” she said waving the videotape in the air. The receptionist ushered Mei Bo into the police chief’s office. He acted oblivious to her arrival yet grunted a question of intent.
“Sir,” Mei Bo began slowly. “Earlier today your men raided my house and took all the Bibles I had stored there. I understand that they were just doing their job. But after they left, I noticed that they missed this videotape. I need to know from you if this is acceptable material or not. Would you and your staff check it for me?”
“Very well, come back in two weeks,” he muttered dismissing her with a wave of the hand. Mei Bo almost skipped out the door with overflowing joy as she headed toward home. “Thank you, Lord! How else could I get the Beijing chief of police with his staff to watch the JESUS video?”
Aunty Mei Bo led many to the Lord all through her long life and spent her time in disciplining them. She never failed to bear fruit.
RESPONSE: I want to be a tree that bears fruit without fail, regardless of age and weather conditions.
PRAYER: Lord, may my deep rootedness in You cause me to never fail to produce lasting fruit.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.