Monday, June 17, 2013

The Ancient Gardener

Photo: Flickr / amiefedora
Two Christians each planted an apple tree in front of his house. When the time for reaping apples came, the first looked angrily at his tree: it bore not even one apple. When he approached his neighbour’s house, he became even angrier. The branches of his brother’s tree were cracking under the weight of beautiful fruits. He asked his brother, “Explain this to me. We planted our trees at the same time; we serve the same God. How is it that He gave you so many apples and none to me?”

The other answered, “Perhaps you did not pray for your tree.” “What! Not pray?” said the first. “I prayed every day: ‘God, give rain; God, enough, now stop the rain. God, sun is needed now; too much now, it might scorch my tree.’ I never neglected prayer, and it was all in vain. How did you do it?” The brother replied, “I am not so keen at prayer as you are. I prayed only once, in the beginning, like this: ‘Father, I have planted an apple tree and wish to have fruit in due time. It is not for me to teach You how much sun and rain to give. You are a more ancient gardener than myself. You created Eden and all trees grow under Your direction. Grant me apples in due time.”

Excerpted from Richard Wurmband’s 100 Prison Meditations, p. 66.

The Voice of the Martyrs was founded in the mid-1960s by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned and tortured by Communist authorities in his native Romania for 14 years. While still in prison, Pastor Wurmbrand envisioned a ministry that would focus on the plight of the persecuted Church, raise a voice on their behalf, and provide encouragement and assistance to them.

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