And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
Some of our most difficult circumstances and frustrating, annoying people are brought into our lives to help us grow. Trust me, I know that is a tough cup of tea to swallow, but it is so true. God knows what it is going to take to help you grow up to the next level. He loves you too much to just leave you where you are and sometimes it takes the ‘manure’ of life to grow us up!
Have you ever had someone who just tries your patience on every level? You feel like; no matter what you are trying to accomplish they are right there either annoying you or fighting your every move. Sometimes it may be a boss, maybe it’s your spouse or maybe it is your mother in-law, whoever it is and as much as you may not want to, allow God to use them to help you become more like Him. I have had situations before where I had to literally pray that God would help me to treat that other person like they were Him no matter how awful they were to me. My verse became, Matthew 25:45, “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’” It takes a great amount of prayer and willingness to allow God to use you in their life for their good regardless of what they are saying and doing to you, but in the end you will come out more like Him and better equipped to be used by Him!
We would all love to live on the Mountaintop, every single day of our lives without any heartache or struggles. We would be crazy to not want that! Life just isn’t that way though. Some of our circumstances we bring on ourselves and others He allows just for the purpose of teaching us and growing us into all He has created us to be. No matter which scenario happens to be the case, know that God can use your circumstances to help you grow and to get you to the next level. I had the privilege of talking with a man this last week who was still bearing the pain of having launched out, doing something that he truly believed to be the will of God (and it probably was) and it all came crashing down. You could see the pain was obviously still there even though it appears God is using Him on something different and yet very similar. He made the comment that he may never know why God allowed all of that and I suggested that maybe it was a stepping stone and that the lessons learned there, as painful as they were, were to help with something he is called to do down the road. I could tell that right now the pain is still too deep for him to want to accept that idea.
There are times in life that you may feel like that fig tree where you feel as though the ‘manure’ is just being piled up all around you. You are thinking it must be the enemy who has dug everything up around you and piled on more manure than you can handle and yet maybe the answer to your situation and those crazy people is for you to ask God, “what do I need to learn from this?” “What are you trying to teach me or what can I learn from this if this isn’t you and it is the enemy?” There’s always something we can learn, wether or not it is something God has done or God has allowed ~ choose to grow. Choose to become better, not bitter! Choose God in all that you are facing! No, it isn’t easy, but Yes, it is worth it! You don’t want to keep facing the same things over and over so choose to grow in this and move forward to be all you can be! The best is yet to come!
“Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them.” J. Phillip Everson