Once there was a man who’s wife had died. All he had left was his son, a boy about six years old. Without his wife’s added income, they had lost the life that they once had. They could no longer afford the modest home that they once lived in, nor could they even afford to keep the child’s beloved companion, his dog.
The only money that they had left was from the deceased wife’s life insurance, which was a substantial amount; however, the father knew that the money should be used in a way other than just keeping the house that they were in and their old life. He could have used it to continue to pay the high bills of their previous two-story house, though he didn’t. He sold that house to get even more money.
With the extra money he acquired through the selling of the house, the man bought a large piece of farmland and a small trailer, big enough only for he and his son. He had just enough money left over to fill the land with the saplings of numerous orange trees.
Years later, the son, now a capable teenager, came to him.
“Dad, we don’t have money. We don’t have anything. We don’t have enough money for a bigger house, the trees in this orchard are too young to produce anything. Why are we living here?” He asked.
“One day, son,” the father replied, “these trees will produce fruit. I’ve watched over them for a long time. I’ve protected them. They will provide.”
Not wanting to wait for so long to have a good life, the teenager left his father and set out for the city, where he got a minimum wage job and rented a tiny apartment. Through effort, the son began to accumulate very small things that he wanted: a larger television, cell phone, and a promotion that gave him a fifty cent raise. He continued to work hard, living for the moment. He had all but lost contact with his father in the country since his father could afford no cell phone.
Many years later, the son had grown into a man, though he hadn’t advanced much in life. He still couldn’t afford the things that he wanted, and he had been through a divorce that left him with bad credit and half of what he owned. It was then that he received a letter telling him his father had died.
Stricken with further grief, the boy went to the reading of his father’s will. Since he had no other loved ones in life, the father left the land and his trailer to his son.
“A piece of country land and a trailer? What good will that do me?” The son asked in a huff, getting into his car and heading for the country. Upon arriving, he was in awe of what he saw.
The orchard that his father had planted had large, juice-filled oranges filling the branches of the trees so heavily that they were weighing the trees down.
“He must have poured everything he had into fertilizing these trees and caring for them… why didn’t he sell the fruit for money recently?” The son asked. He walked into the house and found an envelope on the table. It looked rather old, since the paper had begun to turn yellow. He opened the envelope and read the contents. A tear came to his eye.
I could never afford to give you anything in life. But like I said, these trees will provide. When you come home, I’ll give this letter to you and let you know that I’m leaving it all to you. It was all for you to begin with. I never thought of anything else but you and how to prosper you in life, because I’m your father… I love you.
The son fell to his knees and wept, realizing the extent of his father’s love for him. It was at that moment that he knew what it was to have faith- his father had faith that one day the trees would provide, and they would. His father sacrificed everything in life for him, a stubborn, selfish child, and guided him to a land of fruit and providence.