Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Digging and Dung

I was reading this morning in Luke 13:

6And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7And he said to the vinedresser, 'Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?' 8And he answered him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 9Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"

I am certainly not an expert Bible Expositer but this parable spoke powerfully to me, especially in light of Sunday's sermon on the patience of God. I am the man - looking at the tree that is my life and saying - "It's been a whole 40 years God - why isn't there more fruit?" Or, more recently, "It's been a whole hour of trying to be a good mom, why isn't there more fruit?" This morning it was "God, he's been my husband for 16 years, why doesn't he bear the fruit I think he should?" Seeking fruit on my tree, I find only an occasional raisin. In my despair and frustration, I want to cut down any tree that isn't bearing fruit in my hasty timetable. God is the wise and patient vinedresser whispering to me - "I am bearing fruit in you and your loved ones - wait on Me - give it time...I do promise you, though, if it is fruit you seek - I will have to dig at your heart and it will be painful. Healthy fruit is only borne out of regular pruning. The rotten roots of sin and selfishness must be dug out. Healthy fruit must be nourished by the application of dung. Yes, Jen, what appears to be nothing more than manure heaped on your life is truly the soil that I will use to bear fruit in your life. Do you trust me? Are you willing to wait for it?"

With a weak and trembling heart, I say to Him, "Yes, Lord, I will wait. I RECOGNIZE that it is you doing the careful, gracious digging at my heart because you love me. I trust that you know the right amount of trial needed to refine me to be more like you. It is in the wait that I blossom."

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