We planted a tomato bush this year, trying out a new variety. Through the whole of the spring and summer, the vine grew and grew – but bore no fruit. We gave up watching it, watering it, caring for it. Eventually, it grew so heavy that it fell over.
Then, in November, my daughter came laughing to tell me the news: she had picked up the vine and discovered–tomatoes! Several largish green tomatoes.
Unfortunately, November was too late for them to ripen. This week, the first hard freeze came to our town, and the tomato vine and unripe tomatoes died.
I have no idea why the tomato plant didn’t bear fruit until very late. We did exactly what we do every year. Might we have done more? Perhaps. Might conditions beyond our control have been at work? Maybe. I suspect the odd variations in the climate in our area this year affected the tomatoes, along with a pronounced lack of bees.
In our Kingdom farming work, more care must be taken than we did with the tomatoes. Movements are the work of God, but we must do everything in our power to do. In the late tomatoes, a warning can be heard: for any given people or place, the seasons will turn, winter will come.
Fruit born too late may die – spiritually, and perhaps physically – without any chance to fall into the ground and bear more fruit.