About ten years ago, I sat on my front porch eating a lemon. I spat the seeds into a plantís pot. Within a few weeks, I found that there were seedlings growing around my plant. One of them actually survived. When it got to be about six inches tall, I transplanted it and babied it. Sure enough, I had become the shrewd and proud new owner of a lemon tree.
Five years later, I found that the first frost had come early and my lemon tree was sickly. I took it inside and nursed it back to health, thankful that it survived. It grew stronger and lush. It was beautiful and thick with dark green leaves and thorns that averaged two - two and a half inches long. I was proud, proud, proud of my accomplishment, regardless that the tree never bore fruit. Someone explained that having a second lemon tree might cause it to pollinate and produce fruit. But try as I might, I could not get another seedling to survive. So I settled for just enjoying the sight of such a beautiful, but fruitless tree.
When the tree was seven years old, I moved into a new neighborhood. Iíd placed all of my plants, including my lemon tree, on the front porch and went about unpacking boxes inside the house. The new neighborhood was congested, but blessed with many children. I could hear them laughing and yelling outside. After putting up the last dish in the box I was working on, I decided that they sounded awfully close to my front door and that Iíd better check to see what all the excitement was about.
They were poking each other. I asked what they were doing and one of them showed me his weapon -- a thorn. Of course, my head spun to my lemon tree. At the sight of my lemon tree, my head might actually have spun full circle. Okay, so Iím exaggerating there, but I sure felt something rise up in me that was ugly, ugly.
My lemon tree was bare! It had not one thorn. But worse, it had not one leaf! It was a stem! Oh, to say I was angry is like calling straight habanera pepper warm. I think I may have physically transfigured into something very ugly and hellacious right then and there. I believe I terrified a few of those children. (In time, their minds did change about me and they did all find my home to be their second homes. Though I must say, they never got anywhere near any of my plants. In fact, after a few of them had heard my Goddaughter, every one of those little... umm... darlings started calling me Mamma Treava.) Yes, I must confess that I bitterly failed that test.
I tried. Oh, how I tried. I babied that stem for weeks. Even when it shriveled to brown, I continued to hope and baby it. When I pulled on it one day and it easily came out of the soil, dried up roots and all, I cried, anger rekindled, and stayed terribly disappointed for much longer than was probably normal. In fact, I think about it to this day and still feel a little sense of loss.
Today, I have a tiny pot with several orange seeds in it that I keep very moist. Maybe Iíll grow an orange tree, preferably two, and maybe I wonít. Sure would be nice. Hey, you all could pray for my seeds and then we could all call them ďOUR treesĒ! :::smile::: Let us, more importantly, pray for one another's spiritual seeds, that we might produce mass fruit for the kingdom of heaven.
God is so gracious and so kind. But His will is perfect. I must learn to be satisfied with His will! We must all learn to be satisfied with His will. And when we do, our souls become much more prosperous. Because, the truth is, His will is perfect. He desires that we bear much fruit. And when we water our seedlings with the Word, HE will nurse our plants with His love and perfect plans. Oh, the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting, from minute to minute, day to day, year to year, and seed to seed.
So now, I pray:
I commend my dead lemon tree (and all of my dead works) into the hands of God and I repent. I repent for the pride I feel in my own accomplishments. I ask for the gracefulness to let what is dying die and the wisdom to produce fruitful trees of all sorts.
I plead for forgiveness and the mercy of the Most High. I ask the Lord to be gracious with me and bless the work of my hands (including that of OUR orange seeds).
I ask that He prosper us all, myself and my blessed friends at FaithWriters. And I give Him all glory, all honor, and all credit for any seed that I plant that grows, whether it be a physical seed or a spiritual one. (Especially those which produce fruit, because any others will eventually be bound together, withered up, and cast out to be burned.) Blessed is the name of our Lord and our God. Amen.
© Joyce Pool
Matthew 21:18- 22
Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
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