There are things that look hopeless, desperate and almost dead. That was the way an apple tree in my yard looked the last couple years.
When I looked up possible diseases I found one which seemed to match this tree’s symptoms: fire blight.
About a half of the leaves looked like they had been in a forest fire: dead, scorched and withered. Some of the limbs even looked blackened.
It had also stopped producing any good apples. It cast most of its fruit and any apples that came from it were small, soft and bug-eaten.
I started praying for the tree.
To some of you this might sound crazy, and I’ll admit I felt a little crazy myself, but I wanted to see God do a miracle.
I even laid hands on it and couple times, and talked my husband and another girl into praying along with me.
At one point I talked to a neighbor who has a lot of fruit trees and has lived in the neighborhood for decades.
He told me there was nothing I could do for the tree, that this variety of tree was being killed off all over the city. He politely suggested buying another kind of apple tree to replace it.
I kept praying, not really sure if God would do anything. After all, it’s just an apple tree.
I started seeing apples. Some of them fell off but it seemed like some were staying on.
Soon I noticed that the apples on that tree were a lot larger than the apples on our other, healthy apple tree.
A few months later I harvested these beautiful, softball-sized apples from the tree. Few had bugs. They were incredible.
At the time, I remember thinking, “faith has to be like apples.” Kind of like the Faith like Potatoes movie where Angus Buchan harvests a crop of potatoes against all the odds.
Faith has to be tangible. Real. Something you can smell, touch and taste.
How many times do I say I have faith but my actions reflect unbelief? More times than I really want to think about, honestly.
But I serve a God who honors faith.
And if he would answer a prayer about an apple tree — how much more does he want to stretch out his hand to do miracles for his children, who are seeking Him and wanting to do what’s right?
I’m not giving up. Not yet.
(The photo above shows one of the bigger apples in front of the small apples off the healthy tree.)