“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
Every fall, a fruit tree loses its leaves and enters dormancy. What is interesting is that this is not just to protect them from the winter temperatures but is also necessary for some fruit tree varieties to bear fruit again. Many fruit trees actually won’t bear fruit until it has met the minimum “chilling requirement” followed by a certain amount of heat.
This means that without the seasons of summer and winter, many varieties wouldn’t bear fruit more than once! If you planted some trees in a very comfortable climate year-round, they wouldn’t bear fruit because they wouldn’t meet the chilling requirement to start producing new buds and bear fruit again. They need cycles of every season!
One tree nursery website wrote about this:
“If a fruit tree is grown where winter cold is insufficient to satisfy the variety’s chilling requirement, blooming and foliation will be delayed and erratic; fruit set and fruit quality will be poor.... A fruit variety’s chilling requirement is a key determinant of where it will consistently produce satisfactory crops of fruit."
I happened upon this quote this week from Charles Spurgeon, who had a knack for saying things best. When like Job, we ask God, “Why do I face trials?” Spurgeon answered with this:
“Perhaps, weary soul, the Lord is doing this to develop your graces. There are some graces that would never be discovered if it were not for your trials. Do you not know that your faith never looks as good in summer as it does in winter?... For how can you know you have faith until your faith is exercised? Depend on it—God often sends us trials so that our graces may be discovered and that we may be convinced of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery; real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.”
So, God bless you, even in the winter,