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Through "The Basics with Beth," Beth Jones is teaching the basics of God's Word to help you live a life you love and love the life you live! 

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DIGGING IN THE DIRT

Jennifer Cole

Have you ever wondered why a certain area in your life just seems to be barely getting by, not bearing any fruit, or not giving as much out as you’re putting in? Why does it sometimes feel like an area of life, a relationship, a task or goal just fizzles out...despite your best efforts? And, what should you do about it?

Great insights into this can be found in the parable of the barren fig tree. Read it with me in Luke 13:6-9 NKJV: “He also spoke this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it [a]use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”

This parable is rich with advice for us! First, it acknowledges that indeed we’ll all have those areas or situations in life where it just seems like all the effort we’re pouring into it just isn’t making a difference. But, in this parable, he doesn’t just chop down the tree after those three years of not bearing fruit...he asks for one more year.

>>The key here is that it wasn’t a year of waiting, hoping and wishing that it would produce more. Nope! It was to be a very intentional year of fertilizing it to see if it’d grow!

He decided to give the tree one more year to become fruitful, and in that year, he was committing to dig around the roots and apply fertilizer. He wanted to see if there was anything he could do, with focus and intentionality, to help give that tree every chance in the world to bear the fruit it was meant to bear.

So what is it in your life? Seek the Lord on what the “tree” might be for you...what are you ready to walk away from, cut down, give up on...but the Lord wants you to give it another year and apply some fertilizer?

Once you’ve identified the “tree” in your life, seek Him for guidance on what the right fertilizer mix is. What does that situation or area of your life need? For sure every area of your life will benefit from more of God’s Word, so double up on that potent fertilizer for your roots! But there may be some other tips and advice the Lord will guide you in to fertilize the specific tree in your life.

Then, give it a bit more time...maybe it is a year, as we saw in the parable...and see what the Lord does in that time as you apply the Word and other fertilizers to the roots of your situation. You may just find that you’re glad you didn’t chop down that tree!

I’m cheering you on, friends, as you seek the Lord on this and follow His leading...may God bless you with loads of new and fresh fruit!

Say This: “Father, help me to see what ‘tree’ in my life I’ve been ready to chop down but You’d like to instead give it some focus, prayer and Word ‘fertilizer’ and let You do more work in that area. Guide me in each step that I take and how I can best nurture that ‘tree.’ I trust You throughout the journey. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”