by Karen Ball
Do you remember my fable of the Cherry Tree a few weeks ago. During an email exchange with April Gardner, one of my clients, she shared her own fruit tree tale. As soon as I heard it, I asked if I could use it as a follow-up blog. She was happy for me to share it with you, so here you go!
I enjoyed your recent blog post about your cherry tree struggles. I have an apple tree that I do NOTHING to. No pesticide, feeding, trimming. Nothing. I’m a bad apple-tree parent. So I’m not surprised when the apples are puny and full of bugs. But when I came home from a trip last Monday, I was stunned to find my tree overflowing with huge, ripe, bug-free apples. I have no idea why the bugs stayed away this year. There’s no rhyme or reason to it (which is why I could relate to your post), but I’ll take it! And every time I look in my backyard at that tree teaming with future pies and sauces, I can’t help but grin. It’s an early producer so all I need to do is head out there and start picking!
What a gift from my ever-caring God. He knows I need these beautiful apples right now. Only He could have made this happen, because Georgia is plagued with every gardening pest known to mankind. And if it isn’t a bug, it’s a fungus or a bird. Or the HEAT! I can’t seem to grow anything here. How did the pioneers survive??
Strangest thing too, because my tree is in the dying process. It has some sort of blight that will kill it over the next few years. It’s beyond hope. I told my husband early this spring (after seeing how far along the blight is this year) that we had no hope of any fruit whatsoever this season. And yet it’s the best year ever. Now isn’t THAT a picture of God’s power? When we see nothing but rotten hopelessness, He sees potential and brings abundant life from seeming death.
How many ways can I apply THAT to my life right now…?
How many ways can we all apply that to life? And to our careers as writers. It made me think of one application in particular.
Yes, those authors who write a story in a matter of months, send it off, and suddenly have an agent and a contract. That’s hard enough to take, but when their books shoot to seemingly overnight best-sellerdom? That is so NOT fair! Now when the rest of us have worked so hard for so long, doing everything we’re “supposed” to do! And though we may rejoice with these blessed folks, there, dwelling in the deep recesses of our minds and hearts, rings the cry: “When is it my turn?”
Friends, if you’ve found yourself wondering that, know you’re not alone. We’re all trying, and waiting, and hoping. And, for too many of us, “success” seems as elusive as ever. More so, when you consider the changes in the industry, the houses that are closing down lines, the even more limited number of slots for writers, proven and unproven. It would be so easy to fall into a “Woe are we!” mentality nowdays. The sky is falling! I know, because of piece of it just landed on my head!
I understand those feelings. The worry and dread. The sense of things going out of control at the worst possible moment. And I understanding watching someone else’s rise when you feel as though you’re on the decline. And yet…
The Creator of the universe, Almighty God, is not bound by what we do or don’t do! He’s not controlled by fluctuations or shifts or seemingly depressing changes in our market, or in any market. He is here, with us, active and at work. And He has his hand on us, on our careers, on our writing. He knows exactly what we need, be it overnight success or long years of perseverance. But His goal isn’t for us to be published. It’s far greater! It’s for us to be used by Him. To show a weary world what it is to be watched over by an “ever-caring” Father. To be His ambassadors, through not just our writing but through our actions and words as we follow this call to write for Him.
Whatever path He has you on, know that we’re in this together. More important, God is in this with us. He will supply. He will sustain. And “when we see nothing but rotten hopelessness, He sees potential” and speaks abundant life into seeming death.
The Master Gardner is present and at work. For you. For me. For our careers. All to bless a weary, lost world. What a joy to be given a part in that harvest!