Counsel Me Not – Jacob 5:21-22

21 And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: How comest thou hither to plant this tree, or this branch of the tree? For behold, it was the poorest spot in all the land of thy vineyard.
22 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit.
(Jacob 5:21-22)

In the allegory of the wild and tame olive trees, written by the ancient prophet Zenos and quoted in its entirety in Jacob chapter 5, the Lord of the Vineyard represents God, and the branches represent people.

At the beginning of the allegory, the Lord recognizes that his prize tree is beginning to die. He pulls the branches off of the tree and grafts in branches from other trees. Many of the branches from the first tree are then grafted in to other trees in different parts of the vineyard.

In the passage above, the Lord and his servant inspect the vineyard some time later. They are pleased to see that almost all of the branches are doing very well at this point. As the servant notes, even the branches which were grafted into a tree in the worst part of the vineyard have produced good fruit. The servant expresses surprise at this outcome and wonders aloud why the Lord of the vineyard ever thought it was a good idea to move these good branches to this terrible location. “Counsel me not,” answers the Lord. “I knew that it was a poor spot of ground.”

We often find ourselves in circumstances beyond our control. Even simple decisions like where we live, where we work, and how we spend our time are dramatically constrained by events and influences we could not have foreseen, and very often things do not go according to our plans.

When our circumstances are suboptimal, we might be wise to remember the branches described in the passage above. When we are figuratively planted in a poor spot, we can remember that our Heavenly Father is aware of those circumstances, and that He will nourish us even in the worst of circumstances if we will seek His help. It is possible for us to thrive and to bring forth fruit even in unfavorable conditions.

Today, I will trust the guiding influence of my Heavenly Father in my life. I will remember that I can be successful even under suboptimal circumstances, and I will trust God to help me do so.

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