One More Chance
30 September 2009
6 Then Jesus used this illustration: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. 7 Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s taking up space we can use for something else.’ 8 “The gardener answered, ‘Give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. 9 If we get figs next year, fine. If not, you can cut it down.’ ” (Luke 13:6-9 NLT)
Jesus used an illustration… This is a made-up story that Jesus used to illustrate a point, to help people understand a spiritual reality, two spiritual realities, in fact.
• God wants things to grow and be productive. It’s how he is, it’s in his nature. He has an expectation for each person – for each “fig tree.” He really is a “fruit expecter” and a “fruit inspector.”
• On the other hand, God is patient and merciful. God loves us even when we aren’t very productive and he is willing to give “One More Chance.” When he’s giving “One More Chance,” he really puts in some effort and attention. But we mustn’t forget that he’s looking for fruit.
I think about my life as that fig tree. I believe there are times when God’s nature of fruit-inspector and compassionate, caring gardener are in tension over what to do about me. I’m thankful that God wants me to produce – to produce fruit of the nature of Christ and fruit of effective service – and that he is unrelenting in that desire for me. I’m also thankful for his “One More Chance” approach to caring for me.
Father, thanks for planting me in your garden. I don’t want to just take up space. I invite your daily inspection to help me be as fruitful as you planned for me to be. I thank you that you take a “One More Chance” approach to my life. I love and appreciate you. Amen.