Don’t Let Your Fruit Spoil!

Cleaning out the fridge is one of my least favorite tasks. Reaching into the fruit bin, I pull out some disgusting clumps of blueberries that had spoiled. My heart sank. How did I miss these? Blueberries are a family favorite! But somehow these once ripe, vibrant blueberries were now shriveled up and rotten. It disappointed me to drop them into the trash can. But it didn’t stop there.

A container with a handful of strawberries had been pushed to the back of the fridge. I slowly opened the lid and one-by-one investigated the condition of each strawberry. Three of them were covered completely in mold. They couldn’t be eaten. The other two were partially molded. Maybe I could cut off the rotten parts and save these two. But as soon as I held them in my hand I found upon closer inspection that the mold was more serious than I first realized. Into the trash they went. Plop! Right on top of the rotten blueberries.

It disturbs me to have to throw away spoiled fruit. We paid good money for that fruit and now it was wasted. Past their ripe period, this fruit could no longer be enjoyed.

During this mundane task, I felt God speak ever so clearly to my soul in that moment. Lisa, I have created my followers to bear fruit. I’ve given each one unique gifts and talents to further my kingdom, yet if these gifts aren’t used….they will spoil just like the rotten fruit in the bottom of your trash can.

Wow. What a vivid picture God gave me in that moment! It made me think of the verse we find in John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”

The part that struck me is the phrase fruit that will last. Wouldn’t that be nice? To have physical fruit that would last? No more shriveled up blueberries. No more molded strawberries. But in this verse the kind of fruit Jesus is talking about is eternal fruit.

Fruit for His kingdom. Fruit that will point others to Him. Fruit that will outlast any edible fruit we could imagine.

So how are we doing with bearing fruit for the kingdom of God? Are we even aware of the fact that He’s given us this command? Are we using the gifts and talents He’s blessed us with to point others to Him? Are we getting out of our selfish worlds and stepping into the lives of others to encourage them in the name of Jesus?

If we are just standing still and letting time tick by, then we are wasting away like those shriveled up blueberries. If we are not letting the light of Jesus shine through us into the darkness around us, we are just like those molded strawberries in the back of my fridge.

I don’t want to be like that! I don’t want my heavenly father to open his fridge one day to evaluate what’s in there, only to find that I’ve let something go to waste that could’ve been used for His purposes. I don’t want to regret not making choices that would’ve brought someone closer to Him.

The reason we love fruit so much is because of the bright, vibrant colors that dazzle our eyes. The colors beckon us to pick up the fruit and indulge wholeheartedly. Fruit at its ripest tastes so very sweet! Fruit at its ripest is juicy and succulent. Fruit at its ripest makes our taste buds dance and satisfies us to the full.

But once fruit is past the ripe stage, it’s just a matter of time before it starts to decay. The once vibrant colors turn dull. What once was sweet now tastes sour and unsavory. Just looking at spoiled fruit turns our stomach and repulses us.

Dear friend, what kind of fruit do you want to be? Do you desire for your life to be vibrant, satisfying and full of light? A life that beckons others to run to Jesus? My prayer for us is that we would truly do as Jesus has commanded–to go and bear fruit…..FRUIT THAT WILL LAST!


John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”


Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett

Check out my book: Embracing The Race: 40 Devotions for the Runner’s Soul





I Want an Exact Answer!!

Math appeals to my daughter because each problem has only one correct answer. Cut and dry. Two plus two equals four. No need to waver back and forth. You’re either right or wrong.

But when it comes to something subjective that involves reflection or opinion…..she can fall apart. In response to simply reading a few paragraphs in a book and giving a summary in her own words, the drama begins…..

“I don’t know what to put down for my answer!” “I don’t know what to do!” “I’m not sure about this!” “I’m just gonna leave it blank!”

What I think is going on is this: She’s really asking the question “What if I get this wrong? What if this isn’t right?” “What if I fail?” 

I get frustrated with her and tell her to calm down. I try to explain the difference between an exact answer and an acceptable answer. Math is absolute….one correct answer. Writing a one sentence summary of a paragraph will look different for each student. But all the answers will be acceptable.

After the drama settles down, she makes an attempt. Sometimes the first word can be the hardest. But once she steps out and starts writing, it makes more sense. It comes together. And she can finally accept the fact that her answer will be different from her friends. Her unique answer reflects who she is.

God whispers to my heart in that moment: Sometimes you want an exact answer for something, Lisa. You want to know precisely step-by-step how to handle something. You stand still and become paralyzed because you’re afraid of failing. 

There are some things in God’s word that are absolutes. If we were to ask these questions, there would be an exact answer:

Should we murder? NO

Should we steal? NO

Should we commit adultery? NO

But what about this one: Are we commanded to love our neighbor? YES

But what does that look like? Will everyone’s answer look the same here?  Or will each person follow through according to the gifts God has given them?

Here are some ways we can show love: Help someone with yard work. Invite a friend over for coffee. Write an encouraging note. Write a check to meet a financial need. Give a hug. Take the time to listen. Spend quality time with a loved one. Buy a special gift. Wash someone’s car. The list goes on…..

There is not just one way to show love. Love according to how God has wired you. Love with a passion that only you can give. Let your unique love flow through you to the people in your corner of the world.

The way in which you show love will look different from those around you. Not everyone will have the same exact answer for this command to love.

But to do nothing?  To stand still–as if paralyzed–for fear of getting it wrong? That would be a wrong answer for sure. To do nothing is to disobey this greatest command from Jesus.

So what about you, dear friend? What are you doing to show love? Are you standing still waiting for an exact answer? Waiting for God to tell you step-by-step what to do for someone? I urge you to pray and step out of this mode of thinking and simply ask God to open your eyes.

To see your children in front of you.

To see your neighbors you might rarely speak to.

To see your co-workers.

To see those friends from the gym.

To see those homeless people with the cardboard signs.

To see the single moms who are barely making it.

And yes….even the people who have wounded us.

When our eyes are truly open, we can then choose to love freely from our heart. We can love with the gifts God has blessed us with. It is far better to love by stepping out in fear of the unknown–even if we stumble–than to stand still doing nothing….waiting for some magical answer to appear before us.

We are all called to love. And when we each follow through with our unique way of loving, this is the body of Christ! And that is a beautiful thing to be a part of.

Mark 12:31 “…and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”