In Jesus’ story of the fig tree, the gardener offers to put fertilizer around the barren tree. Growth comes because the gardener works at it and is not ready to give up on the tree. The spiritual disciplines we practice – especially those we are more intentional about during the season of Lent – are ways that God can nurture and nourish us for fruitful living. These verses remind us that while none of us is immune to hardship, whether it is the result of choices we or someone else has made, or whether there seems to be no explanation, God doesn’t give up on us easily. God is willing to put in the work to bring forth fruit from our lives – fruit that is manifested in love, joy, generosity, peacefulness, etc.
Can you think of times when you weren’t bearing much fruit in your life, when you may have been feeling doubtful or apathetic or discouraged or paralyzed with fear? What means of grace did God use to bring you through that time – was it some sort of assurance you received through prayer or scripture or the kindness of a friend? How might the idea that Jesus, even now, is tending to your spirit affect your attitudes and actions today?
In prayer, ask God to nurture you toward fruitfulness.