From Dirt To Sugar
It has always amazed me how you could plant something in dirt, the same stuff you rush into the house to wash off, and the fruit comes out sweet as sugar. Watermelons are amazing. They grow in the heat of the year, mostly in the dry season and when split open, they are full of water and sugar. I’ve broken many of them open right in the field and munched until I was almost sick… and I would do it again.
A few years ago we bought a couple of fig trees. We planted one of them right up close to the house at the back facing west. The other one we planted near where a plum tree once was that had died. It was on the South side of the house out about thirty feet or so. The trees were about a foot tall when we planted them. The one at the back grew and grew and the one on the end did not appear to grow at all. After about three years of so, the one on the South side gave up the ghost and died. The one in the back thrived and now it is about twelve feet tall.
This morning, just after the break of day, I went out and picked the rich, luscious figs. I had already picked them a couple of days ago and Miss Nita made some fig preserves from them. Anticipating some homemade biscuits and fried bacon to go with them, I was more than glad to go out and pick again. It was already hot before the sun even got up good. And, when you pick figs, the leaves of the tree are not friendly to you. They make you itch and sting. But, the fruit with its rich color and delightful taste is worth a scratch or two. As I was picking, my hands became sticky and gooey. I couldn’t help but think of the day we built the rounded out area in the flower bed across the back of the house to plant the tree to keep it from being crammed right up next to the house. It was a dirty, no, filthy job. And now, here I am picking fruit that God has placed on the tree rising out of the filth of the earth beneath it. I thought to myself, “There is a story here.”
I finished the picking and went inside to deliver the fruit of the tree for processing… still thinking about those biscuits. I got myself cleaned up and headed to work thinking about how God could make something so right and wonderful out of plain ole dirt. Then it hit me. Hey, I came from dirt originally. Isn’t it true that God reached down and “formed” the first man from the dust of the ground? Didn’t He then breath into him the breath of life and cause him to walk on the same dirt from which he was created? Then, did He not give the man the task of tilling the same soil from which he was made? Amazing!
How on earth or with earth, could God make something so amazing with something so nasty? We are promised that when we die we will return to the dust from which we were made. What a fitting end. It leads me to believe that whatever I am, whatever God has done with me, I am still just a walking pile of dirt. No better and no worse.
But, as with the fig tree, God can take from the filth of the earth and make something sweet and productive. There is no one on the face of this earth that cannot be sweetened by the touch of God. There is no sin in the life of any one individual that God cannot forgive. There is not a single person living or who will ever live that God cannot cleanse. God can take the filth of our lives, give us the nutrients from heaven and turn us into productive fruit. It does not matter what we have done, where we have been or what nationality we are. He can plant us deep in Himself and produce a fruit that is completely opposite to that from which we were made.
When we come to Him and offer ourselves as willing servants, repentant of the filth of our lives, God makes a covenant with us and begins the production process. He can cleanse our heart and make us profitable. He can clean up our lives, make us grow and sweeten us at the same time. Then, we will become the preserves on someone else’s biscuit. We will be the flavor that draws another into the itchy leaves of life, knowing that there is something rich and good waiting on the other side.
The fig tree did not produce fruit because I planted it. It produced fruit because of the work of God. All I did was stick it in the ground and keep it there. And, to tell you the truth, all I can do with Him is to plant myself in Him and let Him do His work. And maybe, just maybe God will turn this walking pile of dirt into sugar and enrich the life of someone else, through me, along the way. I cannot claim the fruit, for that belongs to Him. I can only claim the dirt… but then again, He made that too. I can only present my filth to Him and He will do the change over. And for that, He gets the praise!