Jesus then told them this story: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. One day he went out to pick some figs, but he didn’t find any. So he said to the gardener, “For three years I have come looking for figs on this tree, and I haven’t found any yet. Chop it down! Why should it take up space?” The gardener answered, “Master, leave it for another year. I’ll dig around it and put some manure on it to make it grow. Maybe it will have figs on it next year. If it doesn’t, you can have it cut down.”
Sometimes what we think is our worst time in our lives turns out to be our best time for growth. It’s like the old saying about trials being able to make you better or bitter. These verses are a story Jesus was using to describe Christians, He used the example over and over in the New Testament of how as Christians we will be known as such by the “fruit” we bear in our lives. In other words, our testimony, the influence we have on others, our attitudes and how we handle the will of God for our lives will show who we really are on the inside. We, especially as women have pressure on every side to look beautiful on the outside from hair, clothes to how thin we are. But here’s the real deal, none of that will show who you really are. As the Bible says, “Man looks on the outside but God looks at the heart”!
I wish life was a little less complicated sometimes and I wish I could learn without having to go through tough times, but that just isn’t the case. These verses are an example of God looking down and saying, “look at that person, I have watched year after year and there is just no growth, nothing seems to change with her, bring her home or leave her to her own will, I’m done waiting.” And Jesus comes along and says, “wait! Let me work on her, I know some life experiences that, because I know her so well, I believe will help her to grow and you will see a big difference by next year.”
So, what “life experiences” are you having right now that seem a bit like the gardeners manure for the fig tree? Could it be that God knows it will bring out the best in you if you allow it to. If you look to Him for help and I have gotten to the point when I recognize these fertilizing times that I just ask God to show me what it is I need to learn so I can move forward quickly. Sometimes “growing pains” as an adult seem a little more painful than they did as a child, but if we handle them right and look for the lesson God is trying to work in us we will be stronger and better for it.
Quote: “Regardless of your lot in life, you can build something beautiful on it.” – Zig Ziglar