Verse 8 “Sir,” the man replied, “leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.”
As we have been studying the fig tree and how it relates to our life, we have seen how we need good soil, sunshine/Son-shine, and fertilizer; today we look at the moisture that keeps the soil ready to accept the fertilizers.
Let’s head back into our vineyard. Watering plants can seem like a never ending chore in a hot summer but it is important to know just how much water is needed. For example a fig tree likes about a gallon every 3-7 days. We need to remember though that we also have grapes in our vineyard. On a hot day a mature grapevine requires 8-10 gallons a day. Did you see that?! 8-10 gallons a day! A less mature vine takes 6-8 gallons a day. Can you imagine the job of watering those vines near the fig tree without over watering the fig tree? This gardener was a dedicated man and wanted to please his boss.
Water is something a lot of us in the western world take for granted. We may think it is the end of the world when stores are out of our favorite brand of bottled water but the truth is we are never really out of water. We do need water in our lives – spiritual and physical. Physical water helps keep us healthy and spiritual water keeps us spiritual absorbent. A child doesn’t need as much water as an adult. In fact a child could drown in the amount of water that an average adult can drink in a day. The same is true when it comes to spiritual water.
So what is spiritual water? It is spiritual teaching, encouragement, accountability and correction. When we over “water” baby and younger (spiritually speaking) Christians with the same amount of deep teaching as a Christian of longer standing, the newer Christians can drown in information and they don’t grow healthy. They can become discouraged and give up trying to learn or worse yet can come to think they are more knowledgeable than they really are. We need to gradually increase their “watering” as they mature in their faith. But we also need to remember that we are never too old to drink water ourselves. It is part of living, after all.
Another point we need to remember is that we aren’t in this alone. It wasn’t the grapes or the fig tree that were watering themselves, nor was it only the gardener that checked on the progress of the plants. As a church family we are in need of each other for “watering” and fertilizing. Let’s help each other grow!
Making It Personal
Who is someone in your life that has “watered” or fertilized you? If they are still living thank them either in person or in a note. Are you in the practice of watering and fertilizing others? Are you growing spiritually so that you can be a source of water and fertilizer?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever had someone help you get to know Jesus and His ways? Write them a note or draw them a picture to thank them for helping you grow. Is there people you can help get to know Jesus better?
Father, thank You so much for making a way that we can grow deeper in our relationship with You. As we plant Your seeds, water and fertilize with Your Word and wisdom, please give the increase from our efforts. In Jesus’ name, amen.