Last year I bought a citrus tree at a local nursery who assured me it bears fruit each year. I brought it home, replanted it in a large pot and placed it where I thought was the perfect location on our deck. A few months later, a few blossoms appeared. I was so excited, and my mouth salivated at the thought of our family eating organic citrus grown in our back yard. Weeks went by, and I noticed there was no new growth or fruit on the tree. What went wrong? Months passed and nothing happened. In fact, at times the tree was knocked over during strong summer storms.
Eventually, I moved the tree to a new location which was closer to our home. This location received less Florida sun and was among other plants and shrubs residing in the earth.
Just before Christmas, I added some newly-harvested compost and wished the tree well before leaving for the holidays up north. Upon my return, lo and behold the tree started to blossom! Today it bears heaps of blossoms, fruit and new growth. When I think of what happened to this tree, I can’t help to reflect and praise God’s amazing creation, promise and grace. I would like to share two points with you here:
- The tree needed to be around other life to help protect it. In this life, we need to trust God, our family and/or community when we are vulnerable. Whether we are the receiver or the giver of help, we need each other. Jesus knew this and commanded us to love our neighbor, and even our enemies, as ourselves.
- Like Jesus’ death and resurrection, the decomposing compost helped to yield the most beautiful blossoms and fruit on this tree. Thank you, Jesus, for your ultimate sacrifice, so we may blossom, bear fruit and remain in your love!
John 15: 1-17