That’s a day’s harvest of our Santol tree around this time last year. There was an abundance. As early as the first days of May, we had begun eating of its fruit, and it continued until July. We gave to church and neighbors. But this year, nothing. We wonder. Deep inside, I hurt. Why has the tree withheld its fruit this year? Why has the Lord not allowed it to bring forth fruit, the abundance we used to know?
Ever since we bought the property, our Santol tree had been giving. It made us happy. For us it’s God’s unique way of pouring out His wonderful blessings.
But more than this, I find myself talking to Hannah my daughter one evening, tears falling down my face. Felix my beloved husband has gone to the Fasting House in Pampanga to offer a few days of prayer with fasting. We are left alone at home with a new maid. I don’t wonder why the enemy would choose to rile us at this time – he hates it that my husband is offering prayers with fasting. He certainly doesn’t want us to be victorious.
So, I confide to my daughter, my shoulders hunched for I feel all the weariness bearing down on my illness-embattled body. My back is so painful it feels like it will crash. I tell her how my fervent, earnest prayers are still patiently awaiting God’s answers; how they have not produced the much-desired fruit. More painful than looking at the fruitless tree are my seemingly fruitless prayers. I am like a little child before my own young daughter, crying unabashedly, pouring out all my soul’s anguish. I tell her how other people pursue their dreams, in possession of strength and good health; how they happily tend their homes and families and go places.
(There have been problems besetting our household lately. Maids have been arriving and leaving. We’re finding it hard to find maids that can really help us. I’ve been weeping before the Lord asking Him to heal me completely so we won’t be depending on maids anymore. But if that’s not yet coming, to give us maids according to our requirements. My beloved husband has enough in his hands managing our company but he still has to assist me when he gets home. We cannot find maids who care enough :().
I tell her how I strive to be steadfast in my faith yet I continue to suffer. So I cry some more and my mind asks why doesn’t the outpouring of words just stop if I were wise? Every now and then I’m like Job before his friends.
But my daughter is patient, and she tentatively opens her mouth to speak. And I motion her to speak and encourage her to say words of wisdom to her confused mommy. And she laughs at that and tells me that I’m blessed. Oh, how have I forgotten that? In her eyes and heart I’m simply that – blessed! But I sometimes strain to grasp it before it sinks in. We look at each other and we both smile, hers a happy one, mine tinged with sadness.
I tell her that everyday I fail, and she is quick to tell me with much vehemence that it’s not at all true and she is surprised how I could even think that. This young girl talks real encouragement to her lamenting mommy!
I think about my beloved husband not eating a single morsel of food in the Fasting House while here I am, entertaining the enemy’s ploys and giving in to weakness. Ever since I’ve been looking at our fruitless Santol tree, Habakkuk has been speaking to me. And that has been weeks. Now it is speaking louder and louder.
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Hab. 3: 17-18)
And that is exactly what I’m going to do. I smile at my daughter widely as I reach for my songbooks and Bible.
More story of our Santol tree: Right Where We Are
Linked to Titus 2sday, Encourage My Heart, Teach Me Tuesday, State of the Heart, Domestically Divine, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Women Living Well, Teaching What is Good, Women in the Word Wednesday, Raising Homemakers, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Faith Filled Friday, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty