He told the vineyard worker, ‘Listen, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it even waste the soil? ’ “But he replied to him, ‘Sir, leave it this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. Perhaps it will bear fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.’ ”
Luke 13:7-9 HCSB
Father may the things I desire I put effort into achieving. I don’t want something for nothing. I don’t want to sit idly by expecting good things to come to me. Mold out any elements that could bring procrastination, hesitation, fear, excuses, and doubt. Mold in to me an appreciation for hard work, sacrifice, and commitment. I pray for strength and courage to take things head on and proactively. Mold out any passivity that would hold me back. Remind me to fertilize, water, and nurture everything where my time is invested. That which I have fertilized and cared for please bless me abundantly. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jesus tells the parable of the man who planted a fig tree and thought that the planting alone was enough for it to grow, produce fruit, and satisfy his desires. He didn’t think that it needed fertilizing. He didn’t inquire in advance to see what would be required to grow this tree. He just planted it, invested no time or labor beyond that—but expected great things in return. He got what he put in, absolutely nothing. So he was quick to now have it cut down.
If you notice he wasn’t even willing to invest the time and energy to cut it down himself, he told one of his workers to do it. Can you imagine the look on his face when the worker suggested the fertilization process?
Now look at your life. What have you planted but not cared for? What have you planted but not fertilized and watered? What have you ignorantly or naively expected to produce fruit ‘just-because’? Or worse, what have you expected to bear you “fruit” but you haven’t even planted the “seed” yet?
You can’t lose weight just thinking about it. Your savings or retirement account won’t increase in value if you aren’t depositing money in them. That debt won’t reduce itself or go away without effort on your part. The assignment you have to complete by a certain due date won’t be done on time if you don’t put in the work, and early. Your relationship with your loved one won’t grow if you aren’t actively engaged and nurturing it consistently. You can’t get a job you don’t apply for and passionately pursue.
The problems and issues you have in life won’t go away until you bring in some real solutions, and aggressively pursue them.
Staring at a situation doesn’t make it change for the better. Complaining about a situation won’t bring a positive change either.
Jesus taught through and lived by:
– Walking the walk
– Putting in the work
– Being proactive
– Walking to a situation not running from one
– Knowing the power, reach, and presence of God
– Being consistent
– Never, ever, ever giving up
When we fall short of achieving dreams and reaching goals, we can look at the list above that Jesus did, and see where we failed. But instead of dwelling on falling down in failure, look at the list and this time get up and try again using this new “fertilizer”. After you fertilize it, water it, nurture it—then see what “fruit” the “tree” bears.
God rewards those who believe and trust in Him, and truly put in the work—while walking the walk.
Are you ready to put in the work?
Clothed WITH Love,
Copyright 2013. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.blogspot.com
Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.