Fruitless

Fruitless

By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president

 

This past Wednesday was the first day of spring! I celebrated by going out into my front yard and taking pictures of the flowers and the cherry trees that were blooming. I really like spring. I like to plant things and I like to see them grow. I also like to harvest the produce. A few years ago, our cherry trees came out in full bloom. The color was amazing and the bees were quite happy. You could stand below the trees and just listen to the humming that was coming from the trees above you. It was a glorious sight.

The problem, however, was when it came to harvest. For some reason, that year the ratio of cherries to cherry blossoms was not even close! In fact, it was hardly worth the time to go out and try to find the few cherries that did ripen. It was very disappointing and I was thinking that it was a total waste and that maybe we needed different kind of trees. But the next year for whatever reason we had a great crop!

The entire experience reminded me of the text in Luke 13:6-8. It tells the story of a man who had a fig tree and for three years he came looking for a harvest and found nothing. He was ready to cut the tree down. But the vine dresser said, “give me one more year. Let me dig around this tree and see if this one more year will produce fruit." The scripture doesn’t tell us if the fig tree produced and the story ends right there.

Of course, there is application for us in all of this. God wants us to be fruitful. God wants us to be followers of the commission to go into the world and teach, baptize and disciple people into a walk with Him. But God also will be patient with us and dig around the tree for a bit more to try and help us all become fruit bearing. As this spring blooms around us, take a moment and contemplate how God has gifted you and how you can be totally involved with Jesus and his mission for your life.