Luke 13:6-9 – Then Jesus told them this parable: "There was once a man who had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. He went looking for figs on it but found none. So he said to his gardener, 'Look, for three years I have been coming here looking for figs on this fig tree, and I haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it go on using up the soil?' But the gardener answered, 'Leave it alone, sir, just one more year; I will dig around it and put in some fertilizer. Then if the tree bears figs next year, so much the better; if not, then you can have it cut down.'" (GNB)
The Japanese lilac tree in the front yard has not done well since it was planted three years ago. We had great hopes for this tree to be lovely, but the best that we have seen from the lilac tree were small, dried-up lilac flowers one year. This is the third tree that we have tried to make grow in the same place without success.
I wanted to remove the lilac this year, since I could not stand the thought of such a pathetic specimen of a tree in our front yard. My husband convinced me to leave it for another year and give it another chance to produce lilac blossoms. Reluctantly I agreed, but I vowed to remove it by next year if it does not grow well.
My experience reminded me of the parable that Jesus told about the gardener and the fig tree in today's scripture. The gardener was willing to give the fig tree another year before cutting it down. The good news for us is that our God, who is the master gardener and is ready to give fig trees another year, is most certainly ready to give us more time to become the servants that we are intended to be.
Prayer: Gracious God, we want to be faithful servants. We thank you and praise you for giving us more time to grow and develop as your people. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.