The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
In 2006, my family moved to a single-family house from a townhouse. One of our reasons for moving was to have a bigger garden (the townhouse garden was very small).
The new garden included a fig tree. That first summer, there was no fruit on it. I would prune it from time to time (perhaps improperly), but year after year, there was no fruit.
Last year, there were a few fruits on the tree. I was amazed! I had decided, over the years, that we had an ornamental fig (those do not bear fruit).
This year, perhaps with a warmer winter and abundant rain, it is producing many fruits! Now I want to learn the proper way of pruning and fertilizing it. There are ways to prune the tree to select the best branches for bearing fruit.
There are many lessons to learn from this:
1) Proper pruning is important: Could this mean that sometimes the discipline or correction we receive from others could be misdirected or misapplied. I don’t question that we need discipline, but it’s something to ponder. We can pray that damage done to us will be healed. Or, we may have not received much pruning/discipline in life. That usually results in a much-reduced amount of fruit.
2) Patience is important: Like the fig tree in Scripture, we may need to wait a long time for something to bear fruit.
3) Given all else, perhaps the conditions or timing are just not right: “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8). Do we need to put ourselves (or allow God to put us) in conditions where we can blossom and bear fruit? In the natural world, some seeds grow only if they are first burned, frozen, or scarified (cut). Do we allow our sufferings to bring forth new life in us?