Time and manure
There once was a person
who had a fig tree planted in his orchard,
and when he came in search of fruit on it
but found none,
he said to the gardener,
‘For three years now I have come
in search of fruit on this fig tree
but have found none.
So cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply,
‘Sir, leave it for this year also,
and I shall cultivate the ground around it
and fertilize it;
it may bear fruit in the future.
If not you can cut it down.’
God will judge. God will set all things right. Wickedness will not continue.
But God is merciful and gives time for repentance.
We sinners are beneficiaries of God’s forbearance.
By God’s grace, we need to use that time well and repent.
But in this parable, the unfruitful tree is given more than just time: it is given care and fertilizer.
Fertilizer is a slight euphemism, of course: the actual substance is manure.
Grace sometimes comes in strange forms: even some of the things we may perceive as manure.
No matter what, we need to pray that God will give us the grace to use well the time we have: to repent and draw close to Him.