Then Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the keeper of the vineyard, ‘Look, for the past three years I have come to search for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Therefore cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone again this year, until I dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine. But if not, you can cut it down.’”
Has it been two years?
Maybe just one?
I don’t really remember how long it’s been, but I will probably remember the lesson that came from it for a long time.
I had purchased a multi-colored plant and placed it in a pot.
It wasn’t doing well, and after a while, it was just a stalk protruding up from the dirt, as I recall.
Still, I didn’t dig it up out of the pot.
One day, quite a long time afterwards, I saw a leaf or two budding.
It wasn’t dead!
Now–this autumn–it has grown out to be a beautiful and healthy plant!
God gives us second chances, many times.
If we find ourselves in such a condition that we feel we are nothing but a withered stalk in the dirt, we can cry out to God to restore us.
He can make something beautiful of us, even then.