Friday, October 26, 2012

The Lemon Tree

I have been inspired by a lemon tree.

And after I tell you the story, you will be too. At least I hope so.

This is not my story but one I heard and it resonated with my heart so profoundly that I have to retell it.

It is beautiful (and true).

There was a lemon tree. It was a large and well established tree that sat in the center of the yard. It produced golden yellow lemons without fail year after year. It was lovely to behold and its fruit a delight.

But one day the owner of the property decided to cut it down. Where a magnificent lemon tree once stood, there was now a stump. And to add insult to injury, the stump was slowly being covered by dirt as a wall was being built near by.

All hope seemed lost for the lemon tree. Not only could it no longer produce fruit but it would surly die.

Yet miraculously the tree did not die. From under the dirt it sprouted new branches that (are you ready for this?) produced lemons!

It was so deeply rooted that even when cut down and buried, it continued to grow and yield fruit.

Since my girls died I have felt exactly like this lemon tree. Cut down and covered with dirt. Yet unlike the lemon tree, I underestimated my ability to sprout new branches. The lemon tree knows that producing fruit has less to do with what is above the ground and more to do with what is below. As long as it remained deeply rooted, the tree would continue to grow and produce fruit. Cutting a tree down does not kill it. It has to be uprooted.

I have been cut down, but not uprooted. And if I shift my focus from trying to get out from under the dirt to digging down deeper into it I might find myself growing again and producing fruit.

Or better yet, being grown...

I need deeper roots, not a farther reach.

God has promised that those who stay deeply rooted in Him will produce fruit. And only His power could derive fruit from a dirt covered stump like me. I want to be like the lemon tree, continuing to produce fruit because I am deeply rooted, regardless of my condition or circumstances.
Some days I feel like I am still waiting for a glimpse of the light that will warm my soul and melt the frost from the little branches that managed to sprout from the stump that was left of me after I lost my girls. I am learning patience. In the meantime I choose to become more deeply rooted in He who covers me...

I think the deepest roots grow in the dark.
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