Please get me out of here!!

Oscar was an Orange tree! he wasn’t just an ordinary orange tree he was a tiny tiny orange tree – in fact he was so tiny that with the naked eye – you could hardly distinguish Oscar from the tiny seed where he had spent a happy few months all curled up inside safe and warm inside the hard pod.

He had hardly known his Mum and Dad because they had lots and lots of other little oranges all growing on the big tree that he had known as his home – so they didn’t really have enough time to devote themselves to his welfare and his alone. But an orange tree he was!

He was pretty chuffed about being a orange tree – after all there was not many or his siblings that even had the remotest chance of growing into an orange let alone a tree!

So here he was – hand picked by the farmer placed in a big warm shiny room, with lights and warm moist soil – he could literally feel the warmth generating through the hard shell of his seed pod and he could feel the life stirring in his body.

He had tried for weeks to burst though that hard casing and he was a bit shocked when one day he did just that – he immediately set down the tiniest roots to grab onto the warmth of the soil and it felt so good – I am a tree – just like my Mum and Dad YAY!

Every day the farmer would arrive and give him nice warm drinks and feed up the soil which gave Oscar more and more nutrients. he was even more excited when one day he noticed that he had grown a leaf, then two then three – life was getting pretty exciting for Oscar the orange tree.

So, as the weeks went on Oscar grew and grew and he noticed that there were other trees just like him all around.  He also noted that the roots he was sending into the warm soil along with those of his friends were becoming quite crowded and getting a bit uncomfortable.

One day the farmer came and exclaimed that it was time he was separated from all the others and transplanted into a special garden called a “pot” where he could grow stronger. Oscar was excited but sad to be leaving his friends – still, he was very willing to go.

The new garden ‘pot’ was pretty special – heaps of warm soil and stacks of room. It was a bit of a shock at first but he soon got used to the idea and he was beginning to grow stronger every day.

The Farmer came in one day and said ‘Now mate, its time you were pruned back a bit and a special graft will be put into your stem so that you can grow the best oranges in the land” – Oscar was shocked “cut back and grafted – will it hurt?” – And yes it did hurt but in the hands of the Farmer, Oscar felt safe and confident and soon the new graft was busy feeding from the nutrient filled sap that was being supplied.

Not long after this – Oscar, the new graft and his Garden pot were shoved on the back of a truck and whisked off to the markets to sell. All the other trees in the back of the truck were wondering what ever was to become of them but Oscar was excited to find out where he was destined to go.

Off the truck, loaded onto a wire trolley, wheeled into a big open room, sprayed with a big old hose and shoved together with his mates. A sign saying “$14 special” strung around his juvenile branches and he was off on his adventure.

A couple of hours passed when a young boy arrived with his Mum. “Mum, can we buy one of these trees – please Mum?’ “Charlie – they are orange trees – what ever will we do with an orange tree – our backyard is so tiny!” But Charlie insisted “Please Mum I would love to have an orange tree” – Mum finally relented. 

With that Charlie picked up Oscar’s garden pot and carried him off to the sales assistant. Oscar was shocked again – “I don’t want to go with him – I don’t want to go!! I DON’T WANT TO GO”. But go he went.

When they arrived home, Charlie didn’t really know where to plant his new tree. Mum insisted that it not go in the garden – “Take it outside, maybe somewhere near that old park near the river she suggested”.

Charlie and Oscar wandered off – Charlie armed with a shovel, Oscar scared out of his wits.

Down to the river they went and Charlie dug a deep hole – the soil was wet, dank and smelly. Charlie  shoved Oscar in and stomped around the hole with his boot and left. So there was Oscar – alone and very scared.

“I don’t want to be here – I REALLY don’t want to be here” sobbed Oscar. Night fell and it was the spookiest place to be – night animals came around and sniffed at Oscar – the river rose and fell, owls screeched and big water rats scampered by.

The next morning came and Oscar’s leaves had been eaten by some grub – the river had washed away some of his soil and he was all alone.

Then the heat came – one of the hottest days in his living memory – no shade – just the sweltering on-going heat, then the wind came – a hurricane! Oscar was sure of it – he grasped on for all of his might. He could feel the smelly wet soil weakening but he hung on with all of his might.

“Get me out of here!” he screamed Put me in some place away from the sweltering heat and the windy storms” But no-one came – even Charlie had seemed to forget all about Oscar so the only thing he could do was to hang on tight and send his roots down deeper and deeper into that dank old soil and drink the from the floods that often swept around his feet and tried to erode his soil.
Then after a few months a strange thing happened….

Oscar fo
und that the more adversities he faced the greater grew his stability – he grew and grew – nourished by the river and his roots grew strong and deep until eventually even the some of he biggest and fiercest of storms could not topple Oscar from his precarious place by that river bed.

As the years went on Oscar produced some of the juiciest and best oranges in the district – The winters were freezing but Oscar’s fruit was the sweetest. His fame grew far and wide – birds made their homes in his lofty branches and people would picnic underneath his shade and eat the delicious fruit he provided.

So what can we learn from Oscar the Orange tree? 

Many Christians are not happy in the place where God puts them – they run from church to church looking for acceptance. If they are not recognised or encouraged they become offended and so easily blame others. They become blind to their own character faults and flaws and are not prepared to accept that God wants them to be refined and matured in Him through that very pressure that they felt they were under.

If we just stop running from spiritual resistance, our own root systems would have a chance to become deeper and stronger and our own fruit would become plentiful and sweeter. We would mature in Him and not become weak and stunted and finally uprooted by the storms and traumas in life.

Citrus growers everywhere know that the colder the winter the sweeter the oranges:  we need adversities to grow and mature – to strengthen our resolve in Him; to cement our faith and reliance on Jesus.

God also prunes us and grafts His Spirit inside of us so that whatever happens we can grow strong in Him – grasping onto the promises of his unending love and faithfulness. 

Verse 3 of Psalm 1 describes such a person who has matured in Him. “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth it’s fruit in it’s season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper”

So what sort of tree are you? Are you easily offended? Are you ever ready to find fault and criticise. Maybe you feel alone and left-out of church, the ministers or leaders don’t recognise or encourage you?

Have you ever considered that God has planted you in this place at this time? – He knows that you will grow in Him if you can withstand the adversities thrown at you which will make you strong and mature in your Christian walk of faith.

Put your hand in His; trust His judgement and leading – not yours.

God bless you as you glorify Him and delight in the place where He has planted you

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Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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