By TaRushajai Coffman, Crosswalk.com
“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” Luke 13:8-9 (NIV)
As we are embracing the change in seasons, from fall to winter. As the trees lose their leaves, one thing is obviously clear, you are still waiting for your season of life to change. And because there is a delay, you have lost all motivation to participate in the things that once brought you joy. If this is you, it sounds like you are in a rut. You might ask how I know. Because I have been there before. More times than I care to count. It is the same place; it just chooses a new participant when the time is ripe. This hollow, mood-swing-filled, lonely place, has a way of showing up on cue when exhaustion from waiting lays hold on you. Your servanthood mentality takes a direct hit. You begin to turn down speaking engagements. You don’t want to sing at another conference. I’m sick you say. Not sick in the body but sick of waiting. God isn’t doing anything for me so I’m not going to do anything for Him. In my experience with ruts, during my private petitions before God, I would try and clean up my act but my heart was not in the right place. Hence affecting my ability to bear any good fruit. Believing God for the impossible takes true commitment no matter what’s not materializing for you. Don’t change up on God! As is written in Luke 18:27, “Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” For my brother and or sister who has taken the time to read this devotional, I want to encourage you to change your perspective, that rut is a setup to get you chopped down. When you are in a rut, like a tree, you are not producing any fruit. Godly fruit that is.
Spiritual ruts are designed to keep you stagnated. Are you aware that you can give this place and the feelings that come along with it a rejection notice? This gutter way of thinking can cause you, like it did me, to withdraw from social normalcy and into your thoughts. Next, an emotional detachment ensues.
When things do not go according to our plans it can cause a momentary disconnection from life, people, and the things that we love. It can also lead to stagnation with minimal growth in sight. You might not want to talk, let alone hear from anyone. From the way you see it, all you wanted to do was share the good news that God did it again. The reality is, He did not do it today. Why Lord? Disappointment begins to show up in your outward deportment. The songs from your top praise and worship playlist that once brought peace and comfort are no longer the go-to. When ruts outwear their welcome, the danger is imminent.
This mood shift makes you long for your bed, a box of Kleenex, and your woe-is-me playlist. Then it hits you in the worst way. You realize that you are nothing like the tree that is planted by the rivers of living water as mentioned in Psalms 1:3 NIV, “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither whatever they do prospers”. What fruit are you bearing in this barren place as you hope for change? If you, comparable to this tree, believe that you have a right to stop growing because you are not getting what you want when you want it, you have a bad understanding.
If you are in a period where you find the things of God that were once priority in your life have shifted, an expiration for your weariness is weighing in the balance. Luke 13:8-9 (NIV) declares v. 8, “Sir, the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” This parable of the fig tree that Jesus is speaking of, speaks directly to God’s patience and what will happen if you refuse to show signs that you can handle frustration. The wrong witness can cause you to be cut down. You want to be that tree that bears fruit while waiting on the Lord to come through, you are loving your neighbors right, and you are treating the person at the supermarket with the utmost respect. If you have become unpleasant because of discouragement, repent. Change your inward and outward perception today while you still have time. When you are in a rut, as this tree I speak of, unhappiness about your season will keep you in a foul behavior longer than you are willing to stay and make you pay for it.
The ground, your belief in God, is your foundation. Allow your faith to be renewed. In this moment, acknowledge that you may have acquiesced to the rut. Regain your strength back shake yourself lose! Do not let impatience, lack of faith, and anger deprive you of a strong footing. Continue in the things of God. You’ve come too far to be reduced to nothing.
Your stance can be in a posture of producing fruit that points others to our loving savior! Everything that God does is well. In 2 Peter 3:9,” The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” You see, God knows when to fulfill the promises He has for you. The Lord will keep his promise and he will be patient with you. Ruts do not have to be your place of solitude. That is what the arm of God is for. When you grow weary from waiting, take a stand against isolation. Rest there. In the kingdom of God, you are in good soil. Stay planted and be prepared to have something to display on your tree.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/simonkr
TaRushajai Coffman is a native of St. Louis, MO, and a faithful member of the House of Deliverance Church of the Apostolic Faith located in St. John, MO. An ordained evangelist, TaRushajai serves in other ministerial roles such as youth Sunday School teacher, Youth/Mass Choir Director, and Deaconess to name a few. When TaRushajai is not serving, she assists sisters of faith by facilitating the monthly support group, Storm Survivors, for sexual abuse /domestic violence victims at her local church. She also serves as a prayer leader for the Midwestern District Council Women’s Ministry, a 24-hour monthly prayer conference call. An accountant by profession, TaRushajai has a genuine knack for problem-solving. She is a loving wife and mother of two adult daughters. She enjoys researching for fun and most importantly serving in the kingdom of God and sharing her faith.
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