Our yard is a blessing. My wife and I have a yard full of flowers, trees, and things that she says I must not mow over. And in God’s wisdom, He had the builder construct our home, back in the 1950s, so that the backyard faces East; this makes it almost impossible for me to sleep in! I thank God for waking up early for His new mercies each morning.
Well, in our biosphere, we have a medium-sized tree that, for three years, gave us fits. Saplings kept bursting forth all around the tree. By the time I saw them as a problem, they were too big for a weed-whacker. They had to be cut back.
At War with a Tree
By the third year, my wife went to war against this tree. We are not fans of weed killers, but my wife was determined to “fix” the problem. She sprayed a copious amount of weed killer saplings. Confident that the problem was solved, we waited; no saplings; great.
In the spring of year four, our trees began waking up. Buds, new limbs, and green leaves in all of our trees, all that is but that tree. It looked dead. As the weeks went by, we only saw a dead tree. Since it was dead, we were ready to remove it, but it wasn’t dead.
Long after our other trees had reached their glory, our sickly tree began to show some life. One branch had some green on it. I investigated and found a few buds. Slowly, our “dead” tree began to outwardly show the healing that had been taking place over the past year.
Our trees are now at their zenith. Still, our injured tree has not returned to its full glory. One side is slightly dead, but the other has leaves and looks nearly healthy.
Jesus is the Vinedresser
This tree reminded me of a parable Jesus taught about the Vinedresser – a person who prunes, trains, and cultivates vines.
“And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”Luke 13:7-9
Perhaps, your life has been like my poisoned tree. As a Christian, you were healthy. You had a hunger for hearing from God and doing what He laid on your heart to do. But something happened. You were poisoned. Maybe it was from an abusive pastor, maybe by a personal tragedy, maybe you were betrayed by a friend. That poison nearly killed your spirit.
In your damaged condition, you may have said some things and done some things that looked like death; they looked like you’d returned to the world. Friends may have looked on the outside of you and judged you harshly. They didn’t see the healing Jesus was performing on your heart, your mind, your spirit.
As you healed, you may have written Ichabod (used to express regret for departed glory) on your life. You may have thought you’d be sidelined until God called you home.
Jesus Can See Life When None Is Apparent
Even now, you may be disappointed with some people because they haven’t seen the healing taking place in you. They are still looking at what is obvious instead of what God is doing in your life.
Jesus is the Vinedresser; He can recognize life when none is apparent, He can make life where none exists. He sees life in you and your potential to be fruitful. Like my recovering tree, you will recover. You will be glorious again. You are in the hands of the giver of life; Jesus will restore you.
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