Bring on the shovel

Tuesday March 15, 2011

Pretty soon, the trees and flowers will be budding, showing off new life for all to see. Those buds are the precursor of the bloom. They give us hope; we know the flowers are coming.

But when I look in the mirror, do I see buds…or bare branches? John 15:8 tells us, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourself to be my disciples.”

We talked about the parable of the fig tree on Sunday – the one that had produced no fruit for three years (Luke 13:1-7). The owner said to the caretaker of the vineyard, “Cut it down! Why should I let it use up the soil?”

The caretaker replied, “Sir, leave it alone for one more year. I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.”

That fertilizer? It stinks. Frankly, it’s mostly manure. But it has its purpose. And for it to work well, the ground has to be broken up. The fertilizer has to be worked in. It’s harsh, even painful.

What stinks in my life? My attitude. My impatience. My self-importance.

“Don’t be afraid of the manure,” our pastor said.

Bring on the shovel. Break that stuff up good, work it in, even if it’s painful. I’ll smile – and so will my Father – when that earthy aroma clears away and is replaced by fragrant buds and blooms.

Linking up today with Michelle at Graceful for Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday and Jen at Finding Heaven Today for Soli deo Gloria.


Unknown said...

Breaking up the soil, spreading the manure. I see some of the same theme in my post today, just with a different analogy. But, I will not be afraid of the stink, for rotten flesh is so much worse, yes?

Unknown said...

oh, this analogy speaks to me. don't be afraid of the stink of fertilizer....

Unknown said...

It's amazing the things we do to try to cover up our own stench, instead of allowing the gardner to till the soil and grow us in his garden.

Michelle DeRusha said...

I love a good metaphor! I was thinking, as I read along, of bare, unfruitful branches, too -- much like I feel when I'm overextended and drained: stripped bare and unable to produce anything good for God. Maybe I need some fertilizer?

Thanks for linking up, Laura!

Natalie said...

LOVE IT! "Don't be afraid of the manure"! Brilliant!

Wonderful reminder to praise Him for our hardships - as difficult as this is. Thank you!

Natalie at Mommy on Fire

Erin said...

Oh, to consistently bear fruit and break up that which is stinking up our life. I love your analogy!

mdforkids said...

I love this analogy...such great and inspirational advice.

Thank You.

Deb said...

Have mercy, Laura.

Me and manure?

Me stink?


So thankful that He works in me to change all of that.

Sweet dreams.

Amy Sullivan said...

Great analogy, Laura.

Just yesterday I was outside touching the little pink buds on our trees (trying to will them open!), but what about me? Do I see hope and fruit when I look at myself?

Great question.

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