Looking to What Lies Ahead
An extensive study in the U.S. recently found that the most productive age in human life is between 60-70 years of age. The second most productive stage of the human being is from 70-80 years of age. The third most productive stage is from 50-60 years of age. So from the age of 50-80 you'll likely be doing your greatest work.
It's not difficult to understand these finding once you realize that it takes this long for us to view ourselves through the most accurate lens (through Christ) and to accept the reality of time with God's hand.
If you're feeling the unnecessary pressure to be showing fruit before it's time, remember this....
Heavy fruit will break weak branches!
God loves you too much to let your fruit break you!
I have, at times, had to pull abnormally large peaches off thin branches on my young peach tree. It produced fruit early, but I had to toss that fruit away before the fruit grew too large and broke the branches. Sometimes the branches grow too far too fast. So I cut the peach tree branches back until they become stronger and able to bear the heavy fruit. An overzealous peach tree's limbs can reach far fast creating thin branches that attempt to produce peaches as far out as to the tips of those branches. That's a recipe for a snapped branch and, ultimately, a fruitless tree. Just like this, God may pluck our small fruits early and pull us back sometimes, so we can grow strong enough to hold the latter fruit.
It's imperative that we bear fruit, but we will never bear the spiritual fruit that pleases God until we have been strengthened ourselves in the Lord. God chooses the time for the fruit, and brings forth the fruit, but the BEST fruit is the latter fruit and it only hangs on strong mature branches!
Your priority should be to remain connected to the Source, the One who brings the strength and the fruit forward. John 15:1-2 says, “I am the TRUE vine, and my Father is the GARDENER. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit (the unbeliever), while every branch that does bear fruit (believer) HE PRUNES SO THAT IT WILL BE EVEN MORE FRUITFUL."
Brother & sister in Christ, YOU are the branch that bears fruit, but He prunes the early fruit and branches for the sake of making the latter fruit greater.
Please know that one of the ways the the enemy attacks our minds is to get us to think we've wasted our time, or that our time is running out, or that we've messed up too much to bear fruit anymore, but unlike us, God is not governed by time! HE is the gardener. In Him, you've got time and hope!
Remember this example from Paul...
"...I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." (Philippians 3:13-14)
God is the one that brings the fruit in due season, so never stop having faith.
Your best days are still ahead!