Saturday, July 11, 2009

In His Time

Sometimes, if not often times, it is hard to see how God is orchestrating our lives. Unexpected circumstances blow in and blow down our dreams. Yet, there is a part of us, perhaps even just a flicker that hopes and looks toward God, desiring and believing that He is doing something good in the midst of such uncertainty or calamity.

I purchased a quart of strawberries the other day. As I began to wash them, I realized that a small unripe strawberry was mixed in with the other red ripe ones. That little strawberry caught my attention. I have portions of me that are like that small green strawberry. I have fruit in my life that is fruit, but it is not ripe.

I yearn for it to be ripe. I feel as if I have waited and waited for it to be ripe, as I continue to abide in Jesus and hold to the Vine. And yet, it still is not ready for what God created it to be and I can get frustrated.

You see, the little strawberry is as much of a strawberry as the big red ripe ones are, it just is not ready to serve its purpose. It is not flavorful, nor is it nourishing. It is young and needs more time to grow.

I think sometimes I want to get ahead of God (not that it is possible) and I want to do things for God that clearly I am not ready for. He still has work to do in my life to make the fruit that He has produced in me perfectly ripe for the work that He has for me to do. Until the ripening has been complete, the fruit in my life, although fruit, is not ready.

When I am feeling discouraged, wanting all of this trial and suffering to have some positive and purposeful result, I must remember that just because I do not see it ripe, it does not mean that it will not be. My job is to continue to wait on the Lord. He knows what gifts and strengths that I have that are to be for His work.

Truth is, dear reader, sometimes I can trust God for the big picture, but I am lousy at trusting Him for the day to day. I am convinced that He has a plan and a purpose for my future (Jeremiah 29:11), but I forget that He also has a plan for today. I want to be ripe, and in that I miss the joys and the workings of God in the process. Even in today, God is at work. He is not just focused on the "big picture" but on the minutest of details. And each detail in today is growing us and ripening us for the specific work that He has for us to do, that which only we can do for Him. Remembering that encourages me and keeps me focused on God, not on whether my fruit is small and green or ripe and ready.

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