"Patient Gardner"

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, September 24, 2021 comes to us from Bill Pike of Virginia


Luke 13:6-9

6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’”8 ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”


Patient Gardner


My father was quite the backyard gardener. Vegetables and fruit trees shared a small rectangular plot. He planted every Spring and he harvested through summer and fall. When my father died, I was determined to secure a clipping from his fig bush. A cousin helped me take a clipping and root it. Gradually, the clipping turned into a small seedling. I planted this seedling in my backyard where it has flourished. Usually by late summer, the fig’s limbs are loaded with fruit. Every fall, I prune the fig back from its overgrown summer size. I worry every winter whether it will survive.


As winter becomes spring, I check the base of the fig for a green shoot of life. For weeks, I see no sign of survival. Then relief flows over me as I find the first tiny green bud protruding from its trunk. Being patient can be a challenge. In Luke 13, the impatient vineyard owner wants to give up on the barren fig tree. But the patient gardener requests more time to prune, till, and feed the fig. Unlike the impatient vineyard owner, God never loses patience with me. God’s work in us never wavers. God’s compassion, wisdom, love, and forgiveness are available to sustain us no matter the season.


Prayer Focus:

Gardeners.


Thought for the Day:

Even when I’m impatient, God is patient with me.


Prayer:

Father of us all, thank you for not losing patience with us. Sustain us like the patient gardener. Amen. –Bill Pike

 

Friends – It is said that patience is a virtue, and it is a virtue that I don’t always exhibit. Sometimes, it’s hard work finding a patient place, and I when I succeed, I usually see the grace of God being patient with me. That patience usually helps me to find a better solution than the ones I was considering when I was in a hurry and impatient. So, I see God’s loving presence helping me to calm my spirit and bless whatever I was being anxious about.

--Pastor bea