Have you ever read something that made you really dig down deep and reflect? Something that hit you to your core. I did. Three days before Christmas.
Before I get into that, if you watch any type of home design show you probably know what a Fiddle-leaf Fig is. Interior decorators always use them, and you can spot them in magazines & media posts everywhere. I never had the desire to go out and get one. They were just another plant to me. Nothing spectacular. Besides that, my green thumb is like a rusty, sad brown color… just like all the front porch plants, mums and boxwoods that have gone before me!
Three days before Christmas, I was reading about Jesus and the fig tree in the book of Mark. I follow a daily reading plan that our church gives out. They call it Project 3:45 because it takes about 3 minutes and 45 seconds to read each day. I tend to get distracted though, so it takes me 3 hours and 45 minutes! Anyone else have that problem when you try to read the Bible?
“When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And his disciples heard it.” – Mark 11:13b-14 (ESV)
Something about Jesus’ words hit me. I kept reading it over and over.
What if Jesus said this to me?
I don’t want to be like the fig tree. (And now I really didn’t want to buy one!)
The story continues…
“And Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. Thus, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’” – Mark 11:22-24 (ESV)
The fig tree withered.
I looked at this two ways. First, what a hopeless and broken picture. However, and better yet, I believe the story of the withered fig tree is such a beautiful reminder. It has more meaning and significance than ever.
At some point in all of our lives, I think we can relate to the withered fig tree. But God. His perfect love and grace. Oh, how sweet it is. He wants us to have faith in Him. Believe. Pray. Grow. Bear fruit. Share fruit with others.
His fruit is ALWAYS in season.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 (ESV)
Time is so precious and what a gift each and every single day is. In this new year, through the changing seasons and circumstances, I pray to remember this…
Never wither. Pursue Him. Abide in Him.
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11 (ESV)
If I had to give an example of someone I knew personally that lived his life full of joy, produced fruit, and shared God’s love with others (and I mean everyone!), it would be our dear Uncle Ernie. I am so grateful for the time we shared with him and the example he led.
As I was writing this post, my husband encouraged me to read bible commentary and history regarding the fig tree’s meaning to understand the bigger picture. One particular reading I found was a sermon from C.H. Spurgeon, written in 1889. He relates the withered fig tree to nations, churches, and on a deeper personal level. Good stuff. If I tried to give you a summary I know I couldn’t do it justice, so I recommend reading it if you’re into that sort of thing. I’ll warn you – it’s quite long. To be honest, I didn’t get through it until the 3rd try. Lots of history and meaningful truth. Coincidentally, his sermon title was the same as this blog post. I attempted to change the title, but it just stuck with me.
You can read C.H. Spurgeon’s sermon here: https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/2107.cfm
On a lighter note, since my entire outlook on fig trees shifted after reading this story, I was on a mission to find one for our home. I already told you about my green thumb so it had to be a fake one, obviously!
If you’ve been on the hunt for one, continue reading… and I guess you could consider this next part my review. I browsed online and in person at several places (Hobby Lobby, Marshalls, World Market, Pier 1, Wayfair). Some were more than I wanted to spend and others just felt paper thin or not realistic. Then I was at Target picking up a few things after Christmas and wandered to the Magnolia section of the store (we all do that, right?!) and what do I see… the perfect fig tree! It was even cheaper than the other ones (it was $99).
Click the Target image above if you’re interested in the details. (I’m not affiliated with Target or anything like that. Just sharing for any fellow shoppers/decorators.)
Here is our new fiddle-leaf fig. I tucked ours into a basket I had.
To top it all off, I was looking for something to go in between my camera & typewriter canvas prints and I found a sign at Hobby Lobby that lists the fruit of the Spirit. I only paid about 20 bucks since it was 50% off!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Isn’t it funny how the little things can bring so much joy. Love incorporating these sweet reminders into our home.
Have you heard the story of Jesus and the fig tree before? Do you have another perspective or thoughts? Or maybe you have a green thumb and you can give me pointers on caring for a real one some day!