The Fruit That Summons
By Jonathan Coker
I am always amazed at how much deer traffic an area gets if it has a tree bearing fruit.
When I am in the woods for the first few opening days of bow season, you will most likely find me close to a persimmon tree waiting for deer. I have been a bow hunter for many years, and I have good memories from those times I’ve had my bow in hand when the season starts on the first of October. I often save my vacation days for the first three days of the season every year.
In the early fall, before the first frost, persimmon trees will produce small, golf ball sized fruit. When the fruit has dropped, the deer practically run to it. I have hunted near these trees many times and almost without fail have seen deer while sitting close by. If you are fortunate enough to find one, then you will want to be around that tree when the season starts.
Not only do deer like the persimmons, but so does just about every other animal that is in the woods. While waiting for deer to show, I have been entertained by raccoons, opossum, and even squirrels that come to feast. Animals love these trees. The persimmon must be like candy to them because the wildlife seems to mentally mark and remember the trees which bear fruit. A small persimmon tee with only a handful of ripened fruit on the ground attracts the hungry deer. They are ready to eat no matter the amount.
God wants us to be the same way a persimmon tree is in the woods in our daily life—bearing fruit.
He wants us to have the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” He wants us to bear fruit and grow closer to Him as found in Colossians 1:10 “So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
My wife is an example of this. We have known each other for over 20 years now and over the years she has shown me fruits of the Spirit with love, joy, kindness, and faithfulness. She has helped me grow closer to God since we have married. During deer season especially, she has shown self-control and long-suffering being married to me.
If we are bearing fruit and seeking God in everything we do, then just like the animals of the woods that want to be around the persimmon trees, then people of this world will want to be around us.
Even the smallest of things can make a big impact in someone’s life. Just like the small persimmon tree that has only a handful of small, golf ball sized fruit, it will still nourish the animals that find it. If we think we only have a small amount of fruit to bear, we will still nourish the people around us that need it—especially if we allow God to draw them to us or us to them.
If we show the fruits of the Spirit to others, and try to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, then we demonstrate the love of Christ to others that He showed to us by dying on the cross for our sins.
John 15:4-5 says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
The persimmon tree bears the fruit of the woods just like we need to be the fruit to the world. Bear the Spirit’s fruit and watch God summon others who are hungry too!