The Little Fig Tree

January 2016

Fruiting Fig Tree

I had planted a little fig tree five months ago, a mere 15 inches tall, into a hard clay soil topped with pebble stones. I had not given it any feeding, or much watering in all this time, and the winter had ripped all its leaves to a bare stalk making it look rather dead. Still, I had hoped that it would survive somehow, perhaps eventually into a large fruit-bearing tree.

A few days ago, my husband came running into the house, exclaiming that it has four fruits on it! I couldn't believe my ears, and had to run and see it for myself. And there it was, a few green leaves had sprouted with, indeed, four fruits on it.

"What an incredible little tree", I thought, "How could it have fruited already?!"

© Photo by Elma Larsen

A Disappointing Fig Tree

I was then reminded of the following scripture:

Matthew 21:18-19

18 Now early in the morning, as Jesus was coming back to the city, He was hungry.

19 Seeing a lone fig tree at the roadside, He went to it and found nothing but leaves on it; ...

How disappointing it must have been for Jesus not to have found any fruit on that fig tree. Well, He would have been very pleased with my little fig tree :)

Then, it suddenly occurred to me - how disappointing it must be for Jesus if, as His followers, we do not bear fruit for His kingdom. Are we nothing but leaves? Do we profess to be Christians without practicing the profession?

The Hard Conditions of Our Lives

My little fig tree began to inspire me -- despite its growing conditions in a hard clay soil with no watering, it is fruiting! So just like the little fig tree, as Christians, we may well be living in a hard place:

    • Perhaps in a workplace where there is a lot of swearing and dishonesty;

    • Perhaps in a town where there is a lot of crime;

    • Perhaps in a country where terrorism is increasing;

    • Perhaps in a marriage where there are many difficult challenges;

    • Perhaps in a church where there are dissensions and slander;

    • Perhaps in a family where there is division, hurt, anger, disappointments, hatred;

    • And so on.

These are hard life conditions in which we are supposed to grow fruit.

But how do we grow fruit?

And how do we know if we are growing fruit?

How to be a Fruitful Fig Tree

The answer came to me in scriptures:

  • Produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matt 3:8)

  • I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5)

  • If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples (John 15:7,8)

In other words, in order to grow any fruit at all:

  • Our repentances need to be sincere,

  • We need to remain in Jesus by being obedient to Him - a doer of His Word,

  • Our Christianity must become and remain an active profession at all times, especially as we live further into the End Times.

In practical terms:

    • When we continue to turn away from our sins, we are fruiting ...

    • When we forgive, bless, and pray for our enemies (be they be church goers, an unfair boss, terrorists, an adulterous spouse, an abusive family member, etc), we are fruiting ...

    • When we continue to tithe faithfully regardless of our financially worries, we are fruiting ...

    • When we lay hands on the sick and pray for them, we are fruiting ...

    • When we walk in love for people and for God, we are fruiting ...

    • When we become a light in a dark world, we are fruiting..

    • Etc.

Ultimately in time, we would be growing the fruit of the Holy Spirit:

Galatians 5:22

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

So despite being a small speck in a big world, faced with big life challenges -- take a leaf (or even a fruit!) from my little fig tree -- be fruitful for the Kingdom of God.

So that when Jesus comes again, He will not be disappointed - because this time, instead of finding nothing but leaves, He will find a big harvest of fruit - in YOU. Happy fruiting! :)

© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.