Our verse for today comes from Matthew 21:20, ” And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, ‘How did the fig tree wither away so soon?’ “
You know how you feel when you don’t want someone to ask you a particular question? You might avoid them or try not to bring up a certain subject when they’re around. It might be because they won’t like your answer, or it might be more about your guilty feelings over something undone or done incorrectly. I know I have seen people here at work take a certain route through the office to avoid seeing someone who might need to ask them about something. And so, what kind of effect would it have on you if Jesus looked at you and asked, ” How did you wither away so soon? ” He would remember your wonderful conversion and exciting beginning in your relationship with Him. But somewhere along the way, things began to change. And how would you answer Him? What reasons would you give? The scary part is that He may have been trying to ask you for a while, but you keep avoiding Him.
Hiding from Him may have become the basis of your entire relationship with Him. Now, you may be able to give Him some reasons, and you might say that you didn’t wither away all at once. Various hurts and disappointments over time can readily be put before Him in defense of your current status with Jesus.
So maybe you didn’t wither so soon, but yours was a slower, more incremental slide. And perhaps a disappointment left you with some anger, and the first step away was taken. Even the hiding and avoiding can be part of the withering. But regardless of whether yours was sooner or later, if you resemble the withered fig tree, you need to come back to Christ. You can’t keep waiting for Him to make it up to you, or to pay you back for the pain you experienced. He doesn’t work that way. He has already died for you. He conquered death for you. And in doing so, He gave purpose and meaning and value to your life, even to the pains and disappointments that it brings. Those hurts point to Christ, make you more like Christ, insist that you depend completely on Christ. Don’t avoid the question any longer. Return. Soon.
As we seek Him today, try to answer God from an honest, open heart. Let Him be there with you and for you. Let Him restore what is now withered.