The Fig Tree

“But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.” Micah 4:4 (NKJV)

About three years ago Dale bought a fig tree. It was just a small branch, really, but he was excited to have it. He planted it in a planter and we set it on the outside deck. The next morning it was strewn all over the deck. A cat, or a raccoon, something got into it.

The fig tree was then moved onto our screen porch where it flourished. It grew so large that we had to prune it or prepare to cut a tree shaped hole in the roof of our screen porch.

The tree was babied for the next couple of years, covered to protect it in the cold months and watered in the warmer months. A raccoon broke into our screen porch this winter and once more the tree was dumped over. We discovered it on it’s side and most of the dirt spread across the porch.

This spring, the tree left the porch to it’s permanent home in the yard. Dale dug the hole, placed the tree lovingly in the ground and then he prayed for it to flourish. Yes, my husband is dear like that, loving anything God gives us to grow.

We have checked on the tree daily and have been thrilled to see little figs appearing on the tree. I have had dreams of making fig jam and fig bars.

Last week as I was walking, I checked our elderberry bushes, our grapevines, our blueberry bushes, the one or two berries were actually starting to turn blue. I then looked into the lower yard at the fig tree. Something was off. I walked in the yard to see half of the leaves gone. I looked on the ground to see if it was a bug or disease, but there were no leaf debris to see. I knew then, that it was our neighborhood herd of deer that had feasted on those precious leaves.

In a few minutes, Dale and I were outside providing a protection for the tree and a deterrent to the deer. Dale was grumbling at the deer, and I knew the feeling as our deer love our roses and I cannot keep them growing at all.

We also talked of how the deer probably enjoyed the tender leaves from the tree. We figured the leaves were a treat for them, but, looking into our woods we know they have plenty of other things to feed on.

Once more our little fig tree is safe and growing. Protected from hungry deer and able to continue it’s life in the ground.

Fig trees are mentioned often in the Bible. Jesus even cursed a fig tree when He was hungry and there were no figs on the tree He passed. Another parable talks about giving a fig tree an extra year to be cared for before cutting it down.

I see lessons in our fig tree. It has been nourished and loved. It has the encouragement to grow and produce fruit. It has been given a home where it’s roots will reach deep into the earth. This, too, is our lives. We have been planted, nourished and loved. Will we produce fruit or will we be given just one more year to see if there is a difference?

“For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.  Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” Hebrews 3:14-15 (NLT)

Let us stretch our roots deep into our Lord, allowing the softening of our hearts so that we can produce fruit, in season and out of season, for our Lord. For our God is our protection and covering as we grow.