Illustration of the Barren Fig Tree
Then Jesus used this illustration: "A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, 'I've waited three years, and there hasn't been a single fig! Cut it down. It's taking up space we can use for something else.'
"The gardener answered, 'Give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I'll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year; fine. If not, you can cut it down.' "
This year has brought knowledge, changes, growth and varied experiences to our lives. We have been blessed with health, a warm home, enough food to eat and a loving family. Not every thing has been easy. Life at times can be challenging, difficult and down right frustrating, but through it all we have grown to lean on our Savior more. These are experiences are God's fertilizer for our lives. He has used trials and blessings to mold us to be more Christ-like.
Sometimes I fail Him miserably, but He is always there with loving arms, ready to hold me when I finally give Him back the control of my life. He fills me with his love, His special attention, so that I may grow and produce abundant fruit. Fruit that will be reaped by my husband, my children, my family, my friends and by strangers I may meet. He loves me and is therefore willing to take the extra time to guide me, challenge me and teach me, so that I may produce fruit for His glory.
How about those in our lives who are like a barren tree? They seem lost- searching for something, they may be harsh, they seem selfish and lacking in love or maybe they are just hurting and in need of direction. These are the people that need our special care.
A gardener doesn't just plop a plant in the ground and then walk away hoping for good results. No, a gardener tends to that plant. They get down on their knees, eagerly working the soil to prepare it for the new plant. Then the gardener supplies it with a gentle sprinkling of water and a good dose of fertilizer. As the days pass the gardener visits that plant. If it needs pruning the job is done with utmost care. It the plant needs staking to keep it upright, the gardener supplies a good straight rod. A gardener sees potential in that small plant and therefore gives it special attention, because the gardener knows of the beauty to come.
This is how we need to see the world. Those around us need our special care and good dose of fertilizer that only God can provide. I'm ready to face the new year. I have my spade, watering can, box of fertilizer and lots of tender loving care to give. How about you? Let's work together and tend to those in need. Just imagine all the wonderful fruits that will be reaped if we work together for our Lord and Savior. I can see the blossoms already!