Thank you ladies for your additional posts on the subject. As you can probably tell by now this is a subject that is dear to my heart. You both have given me additional insight on the subject. At the very least, you have given me something to ponder over. I think this point by Refreshed was especially good, "Doesn't it take water, sunshine, nutrients in the soil to allow the tree to produce? Being planted in good soil of His Word and watered by His Spirit as we absorb His Light, produces healthy fruit." Too much of the time I feel like I am in the thorns. I also was moved by Vektek's words, "Fruit trees go seasons without producing much fruit too. God lets us go through dry seasons sometimes. I think it's during those times we often realize, hey, I'm not trusting God lately but instead have gone back to the old fleshly patterns of trying to get things done myself. And I know for me, it's always such a relief to stop doing that, and put my trust back in God to accomplish everything in my life that needs to be. And that's when I'll start being more loving again, the peace will return, the joy will return, etc."