Wednesday, October 5th. Luke 13:6-9

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” Luke 13:6-9

 

Mary (not her real name) was tormented by this parable.

 

Of all the passages in scripture, this is the one that stuck in her mind.  This is the passage that she remembered from her childhood.  From the first time she heard it, she just knew that she was that unproductive fig tree.  She was the one who wasn’t good enough.  She was the child that didn’t and couldn’t and wouldn’t ever please her parents.

 

She told me that she had once heard in a Bible study that fig trees only produced fruit every seven years.  She said that helped her a little bit.  (The Bible study leader was wrong.  Fig trees produce fruit every year, even twice a year.)  She also said, when I pointed out the patience of the owner, the story of Jesus cursing the empty fig tree near Jerusalem which shriveled up and died overnight.

 

Mary was clearly troubled and bore the weight of years of pain.  It was clear that her pain wasn’t caused by the parable of the fig tree.  Her life experience, her family of origin, issues in her current life, all of that burdened her.  She lived in fear that God was going to “cut her down” because she was unproductive.

 

As I think about Mary this morning, I’m thinking about all of the people (myself included) for whom our inner lives are so often conflicted by the various struggles of life.  Memories come and go, healing comes and goes.  Good days and hard days and worries and fears.  This is all part of what it is to be a human being.  Some days are harder than others.

 

For those who care about God, who are curious about God, even devoted to God, we expect respite and relief on the way.  We expect that God will make our lives better but far too often God’s best attempts are blocked by our own memories and struggles and unwillingness to let go.  And sometimes, we wonder if we are wasting the soil.

 

But then comes the voice of the gardener.  Again we hear the voice of patience, the voice of hope, the voice of the unflagging optimist of one whose calling is to nurture growth – “Sir, let it alone for one more year.”  Give it a chance.  Let me work with it.  I think it is going to be OK.  And in that voice we discover hope for yet one more day.

 

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, be with those who struggle with a sense of their own self worth and value.  Bless them with patient voices in their lives which offer encouragement.  Thank you for all of the second chances that you give us.  May we be fruitful in the vineyards you have entrusted to our care.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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8 Responses to “Wednesday, October 5th. Luke 13:6-9”

  1. Rob Cuddington Says:

    I am thankful for the return of the devotions.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I really felt like you hit your stride today with a powerful devotion like your days of old. Thank you and God’s continual blessings!
    Welcome back! You are needed.

  3. Marlys Amberg Says:

    Today was a particulariy difficult morning – thank you for your devotions, coming to encourage and help us along this path of life. I thank God for you and your great insight and teaching.

  4. Billie G. Says:

    The devotion for today truly spoke to my life!! God knows just what we need. Thank you for being His vessel!!

  5. Gloria S-R Says:

    Perfect for me today and everyday! Patience is not my strongest virtue. I need help with this everyday. Thank you for coming back to us. We need you. God’s blessings on you everyday.

    Gloria S-R

  6. Becky Vance Says:

    So perfect for me today. Thank you Kerry!

  7. Arnie Walter Says:

    Thank you Pastor Kerry for being God’s vessel.
    Thank you Jesus! Most patient Gardner.
    This devotion really touched my heart.
    God bless you well Pastor Kerry!

  8. Sharon Longnecker Says:

    We are so grateful for your return to sending out these blessed devotions. This one must speak to every heart that is the tiniest bit open. May the Holy Spirit continue to inspire and strengthen you.

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