I’m obsessed with lemons. The taste, the smell, and the look are all so inviting to me. There’s rarely a marinade I use that doesn’t involve freshly squeezed lemon juice. Lemon dessert? Sign me up. In my water? Yes, please. Oh, an essential oil that makes your whole room smell fresh and vibrant? Give me half the bottle, straight into the diffuser! There’s something about that delicious fruit that I find irresistible. So much so that last year, I asked Chris if we could get a lemon tree. Just down the street, orange trees surrounded my neighbors’ yards, so growing citrus fruit was definitely going to work in my little front yard.
I should remember when I ask these things of Chris – that we rent, not own, our home. So that kind man did the next best thing. He bought me a dwarf lemon tree and potted it on our front porch!
As I watched over it (obsessively) for the next month or so, I would check its leaves over to see if it was actually doing anything. Can I have lemons please, Tree? How about a flower, Tree? Can you show me, Tree, that you at least know I’m here and kill a leaf?! Anything, Tree…do something! Finally, one beautifully crisp morning, I walked out to find some buds. Success!
Over the next couple of weeks, those buds turned into flowers and odd shaped pod looking things that we assumed were the start of our lemons. Lemon cheesecake, here we come! But we also noticed these pods were green, not yellow – and they stayed green for a LONG time as they grew into small bulbs of citrus gloriousness. We were convinced that they had labeled the tree wrong, and Chris had purchased a lime tree.
After months (and I do mean months!) of waiting, the tart little pieces of fruit eventually turned yellow. I finally had some lemons to use for my cooking. Except that it only gave us something like four, in total. And they were the size of key limes. But. I. Had. Lemons!
Being known as a Bible study leader, I’m frequently asked questions or given scenarios by friends and/or co-workers for which they want to know what God says about that circumstance. And often times, when I get those questions, I feel like that darn lemon tree.
I’m planted in Jesus Christ. I’m watering myself every day with the knowledge of the Bible. I’m being pruned when I’m working on whatever current Bible study we’re doing. Yet sometimes, frustration blocks my vision as feelings of inadequacy fall over me that I’m not growing fast enough. Maybe a scripture doesn’t come to mind, so I have to look it up. Or, I can’t remember some amazing story from His Word that helps someone in that time of turmoil or uncertainty. Maturity in my walk with our Creator isn’t coming as quickly as I would like.
It’s in those moments of self-doubt that I have to remind myself that we’re not meant to run this race at break-neck speed, hurtling past every scripture and story to get to the end just to have all the answers. Our job is to walk with Him daily. As we nurture a beautiful relationship between Father and child, we expand our knowledge little by little, deepening our understanding of the Bible. His truth, His stories, His love, it all becomes woven into the tapestry of our Christian lives.
Every question with an unknown answer is a chance to grow stronger in your faith journey. Every time your concordance is used is an opportunity to learn and absorb something new. You don’t need to have all the answers all the time. You need a pliable heart, willing to soak up the wisdom of God.
Just like that lemon tree, as we grow, buds of truth spring forth, flowers of knowledge blossom, and the fruit of the Spirit flourish! The grace of Jesus Christ waters us every day and encourages us to develop a deeper understanding of Him. Don’t be afraid of not having the answer. Use it as a chance to bloom!
What about you? What do you do or say to remind yourself that it’s okay if you don’t have the answer right away? Answer in the comments below!