Sometimes I wonder why the Lord has led me down the twisted paths of life, or given me this particular road to walk. I don’t understand why my own plans, which seemed so good at the time, have at times, been so disappointing or left me with such a feeling of dissatisfaction. I do not understand why the blessing that I have been watching for so long are so slow in coming about in my life. I do not understand God’s way with me all the time.
Prayer seems to go unanswered. I look to my life and I see no growth, no fruit that I have been watching for. I wonder, did I get it wrong? Have I failed to stay in the vine? Have I displeased you? Did I hear You wrong Lord?
“…my Father is the gardener.” John 15:1
And yes, my Father has pruned in my life, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2) I am familiar with His pruning shear, trusting that He knows where He wants to cut. I trust that He is making me more fruitful and knows what He is doing.
But now it seems there is no fruit for a very long time!
I don’t always understand what God is doing in my life. I guess neither did Abraham when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac, nor Moses when he and the Israelites had to hang around in the desert for 40 years. Bet Joseph questioned God when he landed in a pit to be sold as a slave, and then was betrayed and sent to jail. Point is, God is the gardener and we don’t always understand what the gardener is doing in the garden of our lives.
But He is my Father, and He is a good father. (Matt 7:11)
And it may mean that His work in the garden of my life, may not bear fruit yet. He knows when there will be fruit and what fruit He is producing in my life. I have seen a plant that I have moved or pruned in my garden, take longer to flower and fruit, sometimes taking an extra year. One of the fruits He is growing is patience – patience with Him. As I wait for that which I have entrusted to Him, this may be the growth process of fruit in my life.
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” (2 Tim 1:12)
Believing faith has an aspect of patience to it, a believing in the answered promises of God, even though I do not see it in my life yet. Believing faith also has the spiritual fruit of patience built into it.
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Cor 1:20)
“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:4)
Faith has to be patient too, in order to receive promises that we are waiting for. This kind of faith is hard work, it requires a decision and determination to believe even though we do not see fruit yet.
“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (Heb 6:12)
So, what do we do while we wait for the Lord?
“Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the sheepfold and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
Thank you, Father, that you are the gardener of my life and that You know what you are growing and what fruit You are expecting to see in my life. Your desire for my life is good fruit and plenty of it. Thank you that I know You are still working because You are not finished with me yet. Thank you that I can look to You, wait on You, trusting that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Help me to be patient as I wait, maintaining my faith as I hope, wait and expect from the Lord. There will be fruit in the due and proper season, help my faith not to waver because the timing is not what I expected.