We have a small izu persimmon tree outside the front of our house. We transplanted it a few years back and only this year did it start producing a significant amount of fruit. I am not very clear on what one actually does with a persimmon, but i do know that this year the branches were absolutely laden with fruit. I kept telling myself I needed to pick some of the fruit because the branches were getting heavier and heavier. Eventually one of the branches broke off from the weight of the fruit, and we ended up losing a lot of the fruit that was there.
I was walking up our driveway a few weeks ago and glanced at the injured tree that is noticeably missing a limb. I couldn’t help but think that there was a prophetic message about that tree. I pondered it for a bit but didn’t come up with anything. The next day my wife and I were talking about her unemployment benefits running out, and how if we had acted sooner we could have had an extension that we now missed out on. I had a flash of inspiration and realized the message of the persimmon tree: windows of time.
There is a time and a season for most everything in life, and some seasons have much greater importance than others. If we actively engage those seasons we can get the most out of whatever that season holds for us, whereas we can also be inactive and let the blessings slip by. The persimmon tree operates in seasons, and there is a window of time where the fruit is ripe and ready to pick. If you procrastinate, as I did, the fruit is lost, and in this case the procrastination actually caused damage to the tree and may impact its productivity next year, as less branches equals less space to grow fruit. Likewise, since we didn’t engage the season of unemployment benefits properly, the season ended sooner than it could have.
I realized that the message of the persimmon tree wasn’t just applying to unemployment, as we would have had no time to implement it and the message was too little too late. Thus, I surmised it was about other things–things yet to come, as well as things in the lives of others. In meditating on this message, I believe this is a now-word that God wants all of us to hear and take heed.
There are windows of time that God opens in each of our lives–kairos moments where the favor is present, the doors are wide open, and even if it requires some effort we must make every effort to step through the doors. Only then will we obtain the blessings on the other side. Failure to do so will not only result in loss, but possibly will cause further loss as the ripple effects of our choices spread out. If we don’t engage those opportunities when they arise, we will invariably pass into a new season where we are no longer able to engage those blessings. In John 9:4 Jesus said it like this: “As long as it is day, I must do the works of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”
In my personal life, I can see multiple areas where this applies: school, writing, house maintenance, friendships, and work. On a national level I believe the United States has times and seasons where we have opportunity for blessing, and if we don’t pray the nation through those doors we will reap the results of our national failures.
Now is the time to acknowledge windows of time. Now is the time to engage the opportunities laid out before us. We must go forward through the open doors, put the work in, the time in, the effort in, and do whatever we need to do, because there is coming a time where we will no longer be able to work, and when that time comes, the results will speak for themselves. Let us be a people who receive blessings as a return for timely labor.