Well, it seems I could hardly have a garden of biblical plants without including a fig tree! It’s not hot here very often, and fig trees mostly grow in desert climes. Plus, I must admit, I was a little worried that if it did not produce fruit I might think it had been cursed (see Mark 11), and I didn’t want that in my garden!
However, we love figs with goat cheese, and we love fig jam. So, during a stroll through my favorite nursery last year I saw a fig tree for sale and stopped. Okay, “tree” is a hopeful, positive spin on what I’d spied. It was a slender stalk in a pot. No foliage. Nothing that looked like it might grow and produce fruit. I read the tag, and it promised that another fig lover had propagated this plant to grow in our area. Not only would it fruit, but the promise was for twice-a-year fruiting!
I could not resist. I bought it, and my husband planted it.
By the end of that first season, the plant had two hands’ worth of lush, green palms. It had grown about six inches. I remembered the gardener’s adage: first year, sleeper; second year, creeper; third year, leaper. So, my tree’s hopeful little display of forward motion was sure to be multiplied in the years to come. I believe! In three or four years, I’ll be making fig jam—twice a year!
Isn’t that very much like the model for many precious things we hope for and hold dear? It certainly seems to be how we begin a new endeavor. We start with a slender stalk of desire, but it’s an idea or desire with potential. God is an experienced gardener, and he has “propagated” me for the climate in which he expects me to bear fruit, and he tends me as I grow. Our projects and endeavors, our prayers, are well known to him ahead of time! It’s okay if you start out weakly. Remember—first year, sleeper. Just start. Before you know, whatever it is you’ve undertaken together, you’ll be creeping, then leaping. You’ve been designed for success!
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
John 15:5, NKJV
From The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional. Copyright 2017. Used with permission.