Abundant Fruit or a Clean Stable?

ChangesChange, some love it and others dread it. Regardless your personal preference, change is inevitable. We know that at times a wind of change is necessary or unavoidable. But this doesn’t mean it’s easy.

In one of his proverbs, Solomon captures the reality that moving ahead can be rough and even unpleasant: “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox” (Prov. 14:4).

In Bible days oxen were the John Deere tractors of farming. They were strong and steady. Having oxen meant a major step towards securing a rich harvest. But oxen were messy as well, very messy. Possession of oxen meant dealing with the putrid smell and sweeping out stables. It would be much easier not to own oxen and not having to deal with its obvious disadvantages.

Times of change are often not characterized by neatness and order, on the contrary! Challenges almost always accompany change. But, as Solomon put it, there can be no crops without accepting the uncomfortableness of oxen. Or as author Charles Ryrie says: “There is no milk without some manure”.

We can choose to look at it this way: God provides us with an opportunity to trust, to exercise practical, daily faith in Him who sovereignly ordains all things for His glory and our best, including every change in our lives. Changes drive us to our knees where God transforms our heart. Yes, be thankful for yesterday, but live with great anticipation of tomorrow. It’s not about maintaining a clean stable. It’s about bearing abundant and eternal fruit.