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First Fruits

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

Every year for Mother's Day my husband takes me to a local nursery. He knows that all I want is to go to church and then pick out my first red geraniums of the season. My kids are grown, so my annual tradition no longer includes forcing them to help me plant the treasures from the nursery. My husband knows that I'm WILD about lemons, especially Meyer lemons - so he offered to buy me a lemon tree this year. He transplanted it into a huge terra cotta pot, nearly putting his back out lifting this fragrant monstrosity to its summer spot in the sun.

It was so fun to watch this tiny tree get its bearings and begin to grow new leaves, blooming with delicate white flowers. The woman we talked to at the nursery said, "It won't generate any lemons the first year," but she was wrong. Our tree was special. You know you're an empty nester when you take pictures of a lemon tree almost every week to measure its progress. Pathetic? Perhaps. In place of the little white flowers, tiny green lemons - at first the size of peas - began to appear. As fall arrived and the temperature began to drop, we watched every YouTube video on how to prepare a lemon tree to come indoors for the winter. The videos proclaimed the benefits of bringing the tree inside near a kitchen window, and they promised it would fill the house with the scent of citrus.

As you can see, our first crop of lemons never developed past the stage of little green bullets. As I de-fruited the tree to stop it from using resources on these few dormant green balls, I felt moved to take a photo of our bountiful harvest! I think the little lemons are a poignant picture of how it takes time for plants to prepare themselves to bear fruit. Are we not similar, immature in our early years, small and awkward? I took a moment to set these first-fruits aside and to give thanks to God for His provision over our little lemon tree - not an insignificant creation in His garden.

"Bring the best of your firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God."

Exodus 34:26

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