Day 7: Planted in God’s Vineyard

With the start of a new calendar year, people think and hope good things will happen to them and their families—financially, materially, and spiritually. Being born and raised in a free country with all its benefits and blessings, we may think we are fine with our faith, with our salvation, and with God. However, if we are smart and diligent, we’ll discover things are not as they should be.

I wanted to share a very short Bible story that Jesus told about hope for now and in the future—encouraging us to do our best and God will do the rest. In Luke 13:6-9, Jesus tells a parable about a man who had a vineyard and was rich. In this vineyard, he had planted a fig tree. Normally, no one would plant a tree without expectation to eat and taste its fruit.

The vineyard owner talked with the vineyard caretaker who had done all the work and said, “I have been waiting for three years, and I came hoping to find some fruit and there is none. Cut it down! Unroot it from the ground! It is useless, unworthy! Why should it use up the soil?” Very, very strong words, a severe warning. We too, in our lives may be like this fig tree—fruitlessly planted in God’s vineyard, using his soil for nothing, just a shadow of what we could be for many years.

The caretaker responded, “Leave it for another year, sir.”  That is, give it another chance, give it another hope. Let him or her to try once more to do and give his/her best. “I will dig around it and fertilize it, and if it bears fruit next year (if only one fig) fine. If not, then will will cut it down.”

Hey folks, don’t forget you are planted in God’s vineyard, in the middle of the best soil and care in the whole world! With the best gardener in the whole universe (read John 15)! Be fruitful, and do something for his glory. Glory to God that He is so merciful and forgiving. Move your boundaries and share the Gospel of hope to all corners of the world by doing your best. And God will do the rest!

Written by Edmond “Mondi” Gjoni ’03, pastor and English teacher in Albania