Saturday, November 5, 2011

When will God fix me?

Jesus was walking with His disciples one day and came upon a fig tree.  He walked up to the fig tree in order to get some figs.  But the tree had no figs because it was not the season for the tree to bear fruit.  Jesus became agitated at the tree when he saw that it had no figs available.  Apparently He was irritated enough to curse the fig tree.  Jesus said, “Let no man eat fruit from you forever” (1).
The disciples probably wondered what was up with their Master, but soon forgot about the incident as they went about the day.  On the next day the group left back out of the city.  When they came by the fig tree the disciples were shocked.  One of the disciples said, “Look Master, the fig tree that you cursed has withered up from the roots!” (2 3)
It is important here to note that not all of the disciples remember it this way.  At least one disciple remembers that the tree died immediately.  This is a natural way for memories to function.  It is more likely that the tree withered up over the course of a day.  The important thing to understand from the difference in memory is this:  After a miracle is accomplished, it really doesn’t matter anymore how long it took.  The stretch of time becomes one of many minor details that are not very important anymore in light of the miracle that was experienced.
The fig tree can represent our defects.  It can be so frustrating when we pray to God to save us and turn us into a better person, only to continuously fall back into our defected sinful patterns.  We can ask God to save us from all of these defects and really feel that He will, only to forget God’s promises to save us as we go on about our days.  We think that God has not heard our prayer, or that He has chosen not to help.  However, God has answered our prayer.
Our defects are being dried up from the roots.  Think about this:  If only the tree’s limbs dried up then everyone would immediately see it, but in a year or so the limbs would be back.  It is better for us if our defects are killed from the roots up.  One day we will be going about our day and it will suddenly occur to us, “That defect is gone!”  Something we have been struggling with for years is gone.  At that time, to us, it may seem immediate.  We know, however, that it was anything but immediate.  The stretch of time between our pleading with God and the moment that the miracle becomes obvious begins to lose meaning.  Not much about it matters anymore except the understanding that once we were lost, but now we are found; once we were blind, but now we see!
It is easy to get tired of doing good.  Paul said to not get exhausted in doing good, because in due season we will reap a harvest if we do not faint (4).  Doing good can mean many things.  For an addict it can mean doing what it takes to stay clean and sober.  Doing good can be the act of praying persistently even though we cannot see the roots of our defects drying up.  The reason it is easy to get exhausted in doing good is because we cannot see the roots.  Not only do we not know how long the process will take, but at times we doubt that the process has even begun.
Daniel prayed to God for an answer.  Eventually an angel of God appeared to Daniel and gave Daniel the answer he was seeking.  The angel made it clear that God sent the angel the very instant Daniel made the request.  The angel said that the delay was due to a fight between himself and another fallen angel.  In fact, God sent another angel to assist in the fight (5).
So we see that there are different reasons why we may not see the miracle we so desperately need.  If we keep trusting in God and trying to move toward better things then we will reap a harvest in due time.  When we finally see the results, it will no longer matter much that it was not all accomplished immediately.
(1) Mark 11:14
(2) Mark 11:12-25
(3) Matthew 21:18-22
(4) Galatians 6:7-10
(5) Daniel 10-12-13 

1 comment:

Danny said...

Dedicated to my friend, Mike.