Sunday, September 30, 2007
No shame in hope
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)And now for the final installment in the saga of The Pineapple Plant: When I returned to Taiwan in early August, the now famous pineapple was beginning to ripen and was too heavy to stand up. It literally had to be propped up so that it wouldn’t fall over. I was amazed at the huge leafy top it sported for such a small pineapple! (It certainly was the smallest full-grown pineapple I had ever seen.) After another week or so I observed that it was ripe enough for picking, so I plucked it from its bed of leaves and enjoyed showing it off to the delight of anyone who visited my home.
While that pineapple was growing, I imagined one day being able to share it with friends. But the day I sliced it for eating, there was scarcely enough for one person, so I sat down and with a thankful heart to the Lord enjoyed every bite while imagining what Malcom might think if he knew his pineapple plant had finally produced a piece of fruit. It might have been small, but it was sweet!
Now should I decide to grow another pineapple, I think I am much wiser to the techniques of container gardening. In retrospect, I realize we should have increased its pot size each year, which would have allowed the roots sufficient expansion room. Perhaps next time there will be a larger pineapple to eat. I can always hope! After all, the pineapple for me was a symbol of hope for the future. In the months since discovering fruit on that formerly barren plant, God has enriched my life in so many ways and truly allowed me to experience the joy of hope fulfilled.
“But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.” Psalm 71:14 (KJV)