Since our Lord's expectation for the fruit I bear is "that it should remain," preserved fruit is what gives Him pleasure. To preserve it, He anticipates that I will stay connected to His vital life, abiding in Him without interruption, moment by moment.
My advanced years are not a time when my spiritual fruit should dry up and fall off my life tree or rot. I am not off the hook because of my age or my mortal, diminishing condition. It is not enough for me to barely hang on to God's living branch. God wants me to stay firmly connected so I can "flourish...to yield fruit in old age..."
I am tempted to wonder, however, whether the good works for the Lord I have tried to do, the words of encouragement I have spoken, the books I have written, will be part of the “preserved fruit” that will count for Him. Will it matter in the eternal plan of God?
Truth can be found in many unexpected places. I came upon a few lines in a novel titled “The Shack” by William P. Young which reinforced my assurance that it would matter. “...If anything matters, then everything matters. Because you are important [to God] everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, God's purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again....know that [you] can make some difference, no matter how little that difference might [seem] to be.”
Is it possible that God notices when we stop and talk about Him with a friend? Or write an encouraging letter to someone? Or witness to someone who needs to know God as his Friend? Is God too busy running the universe to pay attention to our casual conversations about Jesus? Is it possible that He reads our minds when we lift our thoughts to Him in the midst of a busy day? Does He notice?
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem who lived in the late fourth century, wrote “…nothing is lost. Every prayer of yours, every psalm you sing is recorded. Every alms, every fast is recorded.”
Truly then, every prayer I pray is everlasting; it is preserved as if carved in stone. My prayers keep working forever. When I launch them out into the universe to the Throne of God in Jesus’ Name as He taught us, God hears them immediately. If He delays the answer for my good and for His glory, they will still never diminish in power. God does not file them away in some dusty heavenly filing cabinet and forget them.
God preserves our prayers; He records them permanently in some mysterious, spiritual way. God is far ahead of us with our puny modern high-tech gadgets; He records the words and deeds and thoughts of everyone all over the world simultaneously! And they won't be wiped out by any electronic grid failure. We will be judged by them since they will all be documented by some supernatural preserving process. Nothing we consider insignificant or trivial that we say to one another or do for one another will be overlooked by the Lord. How do I know?
“Then those who feared/revered the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened/gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord, and who thought on/esteemed His name.
“'And they will be Mine' says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels—My special possession, My peculiar treasure. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him” (Malachi 3:16, 17 Amplified Translation).
Can you imagine how God refers to us when He hears us talking together about Him or even thinking about Him? He calls us His own, His jewel, His special possession, and His peculiar treasure! Aren’t we blessed?