Life as a Fig Tree
by Linda Veath
[Jesus] told this parable:
“A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. He told the vineyard worker, ‘Listen, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it even waste the soil?’
Perhaps it will bear fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.’” ~ Luke 12:6-9 HCSB
In the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, Israel is most often thought to be the fig tree. But, have you ever thought of yourself as being that fig tree? A fig tree planted in the vineyard of the Lord through faith in Jesus Christ. A fig tree planted that it might grow in God’s grace and produce abundant fruit.
We do things that seem worthwhile to us. That seem worthwhile to others. Church attendance. Reading the Bible. Tithing. Serving on committees. Working at the local homeless shelter. Outward acts that look stately and beautiful. The kind of fruit that we think we are to produce. But those things may not be fruit in the Lord’s eyes.
And if they are not, He will begin digging deep into the soil of our hearts—a process that is often times very painful. Yet the very process that will help us produce abundant fruit.
With the season of Lent upon us—a season for examining our hearts—what better time for the Lord Himself to start digging in our hearts so that we can receive a greater measure of His mercy and grace. And be reminded that it is only His working in our hearts that ultimately produces the fruit He wants us to bear. And what is that fruit the Lord is looking for? Hearts that belong to Him. Hearts that cannot live without Him. Hearts that seek to do only His will.
May this Lenten season be a time when we grow in grace and bear the true fruit that lasts forever.