When No Fruit is Seen

(photo source)

That’s a day’s harvest of our Santol tree around this time last year. There was an abundance. As early as the first days of May, we had begun eating of its fruit, and it continued until July. We gave to church and neighbors. But this year, nothing. We wonder. Deep inside, I hurt. Why has the tree withheld its fruit this year? Why has the Lord not allowed it to bring forth fruit, the abundance we used to know?

Ever since we bought the property, our Santol tree had been giving. It made us happy. For us it’s God’s unique way of pouring out His wonderful blessings.

But more than this, I find myself talking to Hannah my daughter one evening, tears falling down my face. Felix my beloved husband has gone to the Fasting House in Pampanga to offer a few days of prayer with fasting. We are left alone at home with a new maid. I don’t wonder why the enemy would choose to rile us at this time – he hates it that my husband is offering prayers with fasting. He certainly doesn’t want us to be victorious.

So, I confide to my daughter, my shoulders hunched for I feel all the weariness bearing down on my illness-embattled body. My back is so painful it feels like it will crash. I tell her how my fervent, earnest prayers are still patiently awaiting God’s answers; how they have not produced the much-desired fruit. More painful than looking at the fruitless tree are my seemingly fruitless prayers. I am like a little child before my own young daughter, crying unabashedly, pouring out all my soul’s anguish. I tell her how other people pursue their dreams, in possession of strength and good health; how they happily tend their homes and families and go places.

(There have been problems besetting our household lately. Maids have been arriving and leaving. We’re finding it hard to find maids that can really help us. I’ve been weeping before the Lord asking Him to heal me completely so we won’t be depending on maids anymore. But if that’s not yet coming, to give us maids according to our requirements. My beloved husband has enough in his hands managing our company but he still has to assist me when he gets home. We cannot find maids who care enough :().

I tell her how I strive to be steadfast in my faith yet I continue to suffer. So I cry some more and my mind asks why doesn’t the outpouring of words just stop if I were wise? Every now and then I’m like Job before his friends.

But my daughter is patient, and she tentatively opens her mouth to speak. And I motion her to speak and encourage her to say words of wisdom to her confused mommy. And she laughs at that and tells me that I’m blessed. Oh, how have I forgotten that? In her eyes and heart I’m simply that – blessed! But I sometimes strain to grasp it before it sinks in. We look at each other and we both smile, hers a happy one, mine tinged with sadness.

I tell her that everyday I fail, and she is quick to tell me with much vehemence that it’s not at all true and she is surprised how I could even think that. This young girl talks real encouragement to her lamenting mommy!

I think about my beloved husband not eating a single morsel of food in the Fasting House while here I am, entertaining the enemy’s ploys and giving in to weakness. Ever since I’ve been looking at our fruitless Santol tree, Habakkuk has been speaking to me. And that has been weeks. Now it is speaking louder and louder.

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation. 
(Hab. 3: 17-18)

And that is exactly what I’m going to do. I smile at my daughter widely as I reach for my songbooks and Bible.

More story of our Santol tree: Right Where We Are

Linked to Titus 2sday, Encourage My Heart, Teach Me Tuesday, State of the Heart, Domestically Divine, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Women Living Well, Teaching What is Good, Women in the Word Wednesday, Raising Homemakers, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Faith Filled Friday, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty

12 comments on “When No Fruit is Seen

  1. salina19 says:

    Rina,

    This is great. I love when people are transparent and honest in their writing. It helps the rest of us relate. Thank you for posting your link and comment on my page. http://heartreflected.blogspot.com

  2. Virginia M. dela Rosd says:

    Rina, your thoughts, insights and strong and unwavering faith is so inspiring. it makes me in awe of God’s wonderful ways to use a woman like you to inspire women like me to be glad and think that God moves in His beloved children’s circumstances. God is really good all the time.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Manang Virgie, you wouldn’t know how grateful I am for this gift. It humbles me, teaches me, and really makes me grow spiritually as the Lord is also so gracious in using it to touch all who read. Di ba we used to go to press conferences in high school and we wrote to compete? I became a chemical engineer years later but the Lord took me away from my chosen career and made me write again, this time, for His kingdom and glory. Awesome!

  3. Betty says:

    Rina,

    I am thankful that your husband went to the fasting house. It is such an honor to have
    a husband who leads his family. 🙂

    Much pain has happened in our Church lately. Two young children lost. One to disease, the
    other a painful accident. I have never lost a child. I can’t comprehend the grief.

    I too struggle with “Why?” I and others have prayed so long for my healing. Some will say
    it is a lack of faith. I say no. It takes lots of faith to keep pressing on when you don’t see
    answers. Praising the Lord regardless.

    • RinaPeru says:

      You were in my thoughts this morning, Betty, before I even opened my laptop. I think we’re like kindred spirits, what you say is also true to me. I also have encountered those remarks that maybe I lack faith, but I know that isn’t true. Like what you said, it takes great faith to trust in God no matter what. My faith and trust are in Him, not on hospitals, doctors and medicines, for when he says that He’s the God that healeth me, I believe it with all my heart. In the throes of death, when breathing seemed to leave me, I had trusted in Him to breath on me and not on oxygen tank. IF THAT ISN’T FAITH, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.

      So, I believe what you say: to keep believing and pressing on despite of is a gift of faith far greater than those who have seen and believed. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

      Praising God with you, sister!

  4. Thank you, dear one, for being so open in your postings. May the Lord bless you and your family as you walk out your faith with joy and grace.

  5. Joanie Qualls says:

    Oh, yes, Rina. How do I say it, I relate in many ways, I am thankful for Adonai, Yahweh, Yeshua, Jesus, Saviour, Abba Father, Holy Spirit . Always , always with me and Who I run into His loving arms to do what only He can do always. The trying times I too overcome now by thanking & praising Him!!!!! And being blessed by you. His healing power to flood you now also, Rina.

    • Joanie Qualls says:

      PS Rina. Those time are more than I like, even now, but like I know you believe also, He is “more than enough”.

    • RinaPeru says:

      I’m always encouraged in return by the fervor of your love to our dearest Savior Jesus Christ, Joanie. Thank you also for all your prayers for me! Praising and praying with you, Joanie!

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