Luke 13:6-8 says:
Then [Jesus] told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'”
I came across this while going through my Beth Moore study, Jesus the One and Only, and it was my understanding that the one asking for more time on behalf of the tree was Jesus. I believe that tree to be me!
I feel like the best way to begin is, well, at the very beginning. . .
When I was 15, I heard God calling to me. I was attending a non-denomenational Christian church in the small(ish) town where I grew up. At that time I professed (and believed) that I was indeed a sinner in need of saving. I was soon after baptized (with the permission of my parents, who did not attend this church), started to read my bible, and began my walk of faith, alone. Therein lied the problem. At such an impressionable stage in life, it did not take long until I put that bible on the shelf along with my uncultivated relationship with God. I was to be a tree not producing fruit for more than a decade!
God continued to pull at my heart strings through the years, but I claimed I was not ready. Someday I would go back to church, maybe when I had a family. Perhaps God wanted to test this theory, because he gave me Noah. Instant family. Still I refused a relationship. I didn’t have the time. I was a busy, single mother. Surely He understood–I would get to Him when I was ready. There were some things I needed to get situated, clean up if you will, in my life before committing. A wise friend even said, “You know Michelle, you should seek God first, and you will be amazed how He will help you put things in order.” I believe God was talking to me through her that day. I didn’t listen.
All the while, I was running from what I needed the most. The lover of my soul, Jesus Christ. The one saying to God, “Give her time, I know she will produce fruit.” Jesus, who would fill the void that had become so large in my life, I thought I would remain lost inside it forever. The void I had tried filling on my own, outside of God’s will, more than 101 unhealthy ways. One destructive decision after the next guided my life, and I had no joy.
Until one day, I listened. It started with a book; The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, which led to me reading the bible, which led to attending a church, which led to the beginning of the relationship that has brought joy and so much more into my life. A relationship that led this tree to producing fruit. I am glad that I was given a little more time.