“Seeing a lone fig tree alongside the road, he [Jesus] approached it anticipating a breakfast of figs. When he got to the tree, there was nothing but fig leaves.” Matthew 21:20
Jesus took care of the fruitless fig tree by pronouncing it dead—“The tree withered on the spot.” I see the fig tree as a person who appears to be healthy, but their heart and soul is dying.
We had a lemon tree in our backyard with dead branches and a decaying trunk. When I mentioned to my neighbor that we’d be cutting the tree down, she said, “Don’t cut it down, it has the best lemons!” Last season the tree produced enough little yellow gems to make lemonade for everyone at the Maricopa County Fair! However, the tree is dying, and we eventually cut it down. It made me sad to pronounce it dead, but I’ve concluded that there are enough lemons in the world that I don’t need a tree full of them, too.
Before we chop down the dead wood in our lives, as Abraham Lincoln said, “sharpen the axe.” Spend time with the Lord.
Dear God, help me from withering and dying in my faith journey. Amen.