Every meaningful relationship results in disappointment at some point or another; someone always messes up. It's just part of the human condition.

But to live within the will of God is to seek reconciliation when this happens, and it's usually best if the one who messed up takes the initiative.

Oddly enough, in our relationship with God, that initiative has been taken by God. Now what shall we do in response?

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Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

Luke 13:6-9

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Jesus and his stories. Sometimes they are plain confusing! What exactly do fruitless fig trees have to do with my life? The Scriptures talk about bearing fruit as a sign of our faithfulness.

This odd little story reminds us that God is a very patient gardener! The fig tree owner was ready to rip it out of the ground and put it in the compost. Not the gardener. “Let’s nurture it, put some of that smelly manure around it and see what comes next year!”

Being faithful takes work. Following Christ means we have to nurture our faith and surround ourselves with stuff that will help us grow – friends who encourage us to be faithful, digging deep into Scriptures that give us life, opportunities to worship the Gardener. It takes work and patience to see the fruit of our faithfulness.

Kerri Peterson-Davis

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Give me patience, loving God, as you tend the soil of my life. Nurture me with your tender love and take away the parts of me that keep me from being faithful. Give me strength to dig into the dirt of grace and joy so that I may live faithfully today. Amen.

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Don't be afraid.

Reaching out to God for forgiveness
is nothing to fear.
God is already reaching out to you
with nothing but love.

Kerri Peterson-Davis

Kerri Peterson-Davis is pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Presbyterian Church in Solon, Ohio. Originally from Southern California, Kerri has also served congregations in California and Georgia. Kerri is married to the amazing Jeff Peterson-Davis and honored to be the mom of Katie.

Jesus What a Friend for Sinners

Rodrigo Rodriquez

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