Friday night is taco night at our house, and a couple Fridays ago I was making guacamole. I used the pestle to mash the avocados in my bowl and added some diced tomato and onion and a big handful of cilantro. Next step- lime juice.
I had chosen an oval-shaped lime because, according to one of those kitchen hacks seen on Facebook, a lime that looks like an oval is juicier than a more round one.
Anyway, I sliced open my lime. It was a little tough to cut, but I quartered it and then divided it into eighths to make it easier to hand-squeeze.
Have you ever cut into a lemon or a lime and found it to be dry on the inside? Well, that’s how this one was. Oval or no oval, it was stiff and juiceless.
As I attempted to squeeze a couple drops of juice from my dried-out lime wedges, I was surprised when this thought crossed my mind-
“My heart is like this sometimes.”
We had lime-less guac that night, and I had something to mull over.
On the outside, the lime that I had chosen looked exactly like it should have. In fact, on the chance that what I had seen about picking a good lime could be trusted, its shape indicated that it would be super juicy. So what went wrong?
I did a search for “Why are limes dry on the inside?” and what I found fit perfectly with my self-evaluative metaphor.
A lack of watering and sufficiently fertilizing the roots of the tree when the fruit is developing causes lemons and limes to be dry. In other words, the problem goes further back than just the quality of the actual piece of fruit. It traces all the way back to the roots of the tree responsible for producing that fruit.
So how does that dried-out lime and it’s causation apply to my story?
Well, I’m really good at going through the motions in life. I can look the part. If someone were to see me walking my children into church, they might get the impression that I’m a godly mom. And if they saw pictures of my smiling family on social media, they might admire such a happy group. And of course, I get bonus points for being an adoptive mom, right?
But what does the condition of my heart look like?
How do I treat my children and my husband?
What is the status of my relationship with the Lord?
In Luke 6:45, the Bible says, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
According to this verse, what comes out of my mouth shows the state of my heart. I can appear a certain way on the outside, just like my lime, but when adversity or irritations come my way, my response indicates the true disposition of my heart.
Along the same lines, when we feel pressured or squeezed by the demands of life, do I have anything helpful to contribute? Do I edify those around me or am I devoid of encouragement? Am I able to share the truth of God’s Word, or am I left staring blankly when someone is in need of biblical wisdom?
Am I attending to the roots of my spiritual life in order to develop fruit that is genuine?
Just like the lime tree whose roots are watered and fertilized, I need to spend time allowing God to nourish my soul if I want fruit that is effective. It’s so easy to either neglect my time in His Word or rush hurriedly through reading, in order to meet a quota, but fail to stop and listen to what God might be trying to teach me.
I really like these words from Paul-
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT
So here’s my goal- to make sure to take the time to develop strong roots that will bring about a greater understanding of God’s love.
I want to bear fruit that does more than just look the part; I want to be authentic.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah gives great instruction when he says, “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and their confidence.”
This is the way to never stop producing fruit.