by Adria Wilkins
Do you like figs? Figs technically are not considered fruit. They are actually inverted flowers. In fact, if you eat a fig you more than likely will eat a fig wasp without even realizing it.
A common phrase you might hear is, “You can’t have one without the other.” This is true for figs. We can’t have figs without the fig wasp. The female fig wasp squeezes inside a small opening of the fig called an ostiole. She loses her wings and antenna in the process. She pollinates, lays her eggs, and then dies.
My son and I discovered figs at our local farmers market and found them to be sweet and delicious. Before the days of refined sugar, figs were often used as sweeteners.
Sycamore figs are native to the middle east and parts of Africa. It is similar to our common fig, but it is smaller and sweeter and about the size of a marble.
A well-known and beloved Bible story features a Sycamore-Fig tree. Luke 19:2-6 says, “A man was there by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zaccheus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly” (Luke 19:2-6 NIV).
I remember as a child singing about Zaccheus being the wee-little man who climbed up in a sycamore tree. Sycamore-fig trees generally grow near a river or water source. Zaccheus had a job as a tax collector. He was probably taking a break from work to get a glimpse of Jesus, who is the Living Water.
Zaccheus was a thirsty man. He was considered a “sinner” by his Jewish society because of his business association with the Gentiles. Tax collectors were hired by the Romans and were given a certain figure they must collect from travelers. But there was not limit on what they could charge. So anything extra the tax collector obtained, he could pocket for himself. As you can imagine, people considered them extortionist, getting rich off the backs of his people.
But Jesus had the answer for the life he had chosen. He climbed up the Sycamore-Fig tree to get a glimpse of the man who spread grace and forgiveness wherever he went. Exactly what Zaccheus needed. And when Jesus called him down, he came gladly. He found eternal refreshment in Jesus.
Jesus gave his life for us on the cross. He died so we could live. That relationship continues in dependence on Him. Just like the fig can’t survive without the fig wasp, we can’t survive and thrive without Jesus.
Each day most people get some type of lunch break. What if we took the time not only to be refreshed by food but spending time with Jesus in His Word and talking with Him? What would the rest of our day be like? Jesus the Living Water will strengthen us for the task we need to complete the rest of the day. Our lives, just like Zaccheus,’ will be transformed by spending time with Jesus.
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ John 7:37-38 NASB
About the author: Adria Wilkins enjoys telling a story, adding sprinkles of joy and a few extra dollops to liven it up. She and her husband, Erik, live in Northern Virginia and have three children Katie, Blake, and Anthony. After suffering the unthinkable death of three-year-old Blake, she found that Jesus sustains and evens surprises His followers with joy.
She is a contributor to Refresh Magazine and writes a column called “Caregivers Corner: Caring for Children” for Broken but Priceless. She is a contributing author to many anthologies, including Just Breathe (Worthy Publishing).
Adria’s new book will release on July 23. The Joy Box Journal is a collection of forty bite-sized stories, Scripture, and inspiring quotes that show how joy can be found in any situation. Record your journey in the journal, jot moments of joy on the included notepads, and tuck those notes in the joy box for safe-keeping so you can reflect over them for years to come.
Join the conversation: What do you do to have refreshing times with the Lord?