As my Dad grew older he began to leave things behind. First, went his career, then his home town as He moved to Florida with my Step-mom Amy. Close friends began to pass away, then family members and finally the love of his life, Amy. For Dad’s final six years he remained alone. Though we tried to get him to consider coming to be with us he felt safe and happiest where he was. Sometimes he began to feel left to the side – unimportant – no longer useful and without value. But my Dad became our family’s greatest treasure. His gentle life continued to give love, hope, and encouragement.
Years ago I remember pruning the apple orchard every Winter. Most people don’t realize it but the young apple trees don’t give any fruit at all. It takes years of growth before the first fruit is formed. Each December or January we would pass through the trees removing the dead and diseased limbs as well as the useless sucker growth. Each of these things needed to be taken away in order for the strength of the trees to be given the fruit. Some of the oldest trees, though scarred by the years yielded the sweetest fruit. They had become trained by a lifetime of cutting to give all their strength to the apples that formed as the blossoms opened each year in the Spring. God also has a promise to we who have been around for a few years in His orchard!
They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green Psalm 92:14