Lesson from the Apricot Tree
The Story from Mom's Memorial - The Apricot Tree
This is the story that I wrote for my mom’s memorial at the beginning of March. I wanted to add it to this Hub because I’d like to be able to talk about it, and I don’t feel like I should do that on the memorial. So here is the story of our apricot tree, as shown on mom’s memorial.
“In 2008, I planted an apricot tree. It began to fruit the very next year, in 2009. Mom was very excited when I showed her the tiny little apricots that were beginning to grow. Everyday, that first season, she would go out to see how big the apricots were getting, and count how many there were on the tree. She could hardly wait to have one of our very own, home grown, tree ripened apricots. Mom knew that she was going to have to wait until the fifth year’s season of fruit, because that’s what the Bible teaches; Leviticus 19:23-25.
Mom waited patiently through four seasons of apricots. Each year the fruit was bigger and more abundant than the year before. She knew last year, (Spring 2012) was her final season of having to wait, that this year, (Spring 2013) would be the year she’d waited for.
The apricot tree is in bloom as I write this, and in just a few months from now it will bear its fifth year fruit. If mom could have lived a few months longer, she could have enjoyed having the fruit she’d waited so long to be able to eat.
When I think of how many people in the medical field told us that it was miraculous that mom wasn’t experiencing pain. A few nurses even came out and told us that they thought there had to be divine intervention going on, because mom should have been in a great deal of pain with her type of cancer, but she wasn’t. Mom was being protected. I think about all that, and I’m grateful for how obedient mom was to God; even in the littlest things, like, apricots.”
The Lesson Learned from the Apricot Tree
What I wanted to talk about is nothing derogatory toward my mother, I just simply want to go a little deeper in to what this story represents.
To have the term “Waited patiently” in a sentence describing my dear little mother, would under normal circumstances be an oxymoron, because my mom was anything but a patient person. She’d tell you herself, “I hate to wait!” I used to dread taking her shopping because if the sales person took too long to ask her if she needed help, or if the checkout line was taking a long time, she would let it be known that she was tired of waiting. That was her, and she knew she was a very impatient person. That’s what makes the Apricot Tree story so special.
When I first planted the tree I read mom the scripture in Leviticus concerning fruit trees, where God said that we had to wait five years before we could eat the fruit. My mom said, “If that’s what God said we need to do, then that’s what we’ll do.” And she did; she waited patiently through four seasons of fruit. It makes me sad to think how this normally impatient woman, went completely against her nature; waited patiently, and then died three and a half months before she got to have what she’d waited a number of years for.
I think that’s a witness to the fact that we can be obedient and still not see our heart’s desire. But maybe it was never so much about my mom getting to have the apricots, as much as it was about God being able to use the apricot tree to teach her about being patient. My mom had already shown in numerous ways her obedience and devotion to God, but now her very nature was going to be tested, and tweaked, in an area where she was quite challenged.
I do believe that God honored mom’s obedience in a protective way during her final months of life. I also believe that the patience mom learned through the apricot tree experience, was the same patience she was going to need during all the long hours of waiting in hospitals and doctors offices, and finally the waiting, day after day, in bed.
Four years before mom knew that she was sick, God began to prepare her in an area that would have been very difficult for her; and He used a simple apricot tree to teach her the attribute of being able to wait patiently.
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