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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Out of Season

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2

The sun is shining radiantly. The warm mid 70’s temperature beckons me outside. The spring flowers are blooming brightly - only it isn’t spring. It is the middle of winter. 

The faithful flowers are responding to the unseasonably warm weather we are experiencing this year. That they are out of season doesn’t deter them. They just keep popping open in beautiful splendor.

I’ve often wondered why Jesus cursed a fig tree for not bearing figs when it wasn’t even the season for figs. Although the passage in Mark 11:12-14 can be taken symbolically, it also has a practical side. Looking at the facts, Jesus is hungry. He is looking for food. The tree is full of leaves. He expects figs to be on the tree. There are none. It is not the season for figs.

So why does Jesus expect figs on the fig tree when they aren’t in season? Like my flowering plants, the fig leaves had come out earlier than usual. Since the tree was full of leaves, it should have produced at least some figs. There were none. The fig tree was not fulfilling its God-ordained purpose for existence, bearing figs for nourishment.

Unlike the fig tree, the spring flowers were bursting forth as God had created them to do, regardless of the season.

Paul encourages us in 2 Timothy 4:2 to be ready in season and out of season to share the nourishing Word with the spiritually hungry. I find it easier to be ready in season - prepared to teach a class or speak or write. I like to know what I am going to share ahead of time. I am very uncomfortable on the spur of the moment. But God is faithful. The more I draw close to Him, the more He prepares me to fulfill His purpose for my life. 

Father, may I display Your beauty and glory whatever the season.


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