Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Waiting for Fruit

My prayer and study seemed to be all over the place this morning. I went from one Psalm to another, jumped from one scripture to another, and was getting encouraged, but I still felt like I was not hearing His voice to me today. Then, I remembered a scripture passage the Lord gave me on the night before Easter. My mind was racing that night as I lay upon my bed, praying for sleep. I knew the amount of work that was ahead and the amount of energy that I was going to need to accomplish all that lay before me. Yet, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, heard every noise and did not get a good rest at all. But, as I lay there, the Lord said to me, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” That simple phrase has been in my heart ever since.  
This morning, I kept going back to what He spoke to me. John 15:16 says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”  Did you know that you are not a Christian by accident? Were you aware that Jesus has hand-picked you? I had read this passage a lot and always felt encouraged and strengthen by it, as well as took comfort in His words. But today, today I needed to hear it again, and make it a part of who I am in Him.
I have been struggling with some areas of my life that I thought would have been resolved by now. It has been almost a year since the Lord had promised me a specific thing, which has not come to pass yet. I am not very good at waiting, I never have been. I have struggled with the whole concept of waiting my entire life. Those who know me will tell you how true that statement is! Patience is not the issue that I am struggling with, waiting is. I can see the Lord working and moving, yet not as quickly as I thought He would. I pray for a heart to wait, I ask the Lord to help me wait, I cry out and ask, “When” and then get grumpy when I hear, “Wait”.
Waiting causes me to doubt, it always has. When I have to wait for something I begin to wonder if I heard right the first time, and that causes me to doubt who I am in Him and who He desires to be through me. I begin to question everything and everyone. I chew on the motives of my heart until the poor things are mush and unrecognizable! But the Lord Jesus, in His love and long suffering of me, reminds me that it is not what “I” do, it is what He has already done.
When He said to me, “You did not choose me, but I chose you” what He was saying was, “I have put you where you are for a purpose and a reason.” In Matthew Henry’s commentary on this verse he said, “Christ loved his disciples, for he chose and ordained them to be the prime instruments of his glory and honor in the world”.
                We have all been chosen by God, hand-picked for a specific work, the same work- “to be the prime instruments of His glory and honor in the world.” Even though I may not be doing what I know in my heart the Lord God has called me to do, not yet anyway- I am still where I am supposed to be. We do not know the lives we will affect or the people we will encounter who need Him, only He knows that. It is not up to us to determine what kind of fruit we want to bear, or where we want to bear it- that is all up to Him. We are a tree in an orchard, or a vine in a field. Each vine and tree is planted in a specific place, for a specific reason.  Just as we, His branches in His vineyard, trees in His orchard, are where we are at for a purpose and a reason.
                We do not always know why we are where we are, but it is not about the “knowing” it is all about the growing. We have been chosen by God to glorify Him in all that we do, say, think, feel, and preach. When we understand that it is not about where we are placed, it is about Whom we are placed by, then the waiting for “it” to happen becomes a little easier to bear.
                Fruit that ripens too early will fall from the tree and rot, but fruit that waits for the harvest is the sweetest and most precious of them all. I desire for that sweet and precious fruit, so I will take comfort and strength from His words to me today, “You did not choose Me, but I have chosen you.” May we all submit to His timing, His will, and His perfect harvest of our fruit, in due season.  Please pray with me as we “wait upon the Lord” and that we will draw strength and nourishment from Him as we grow into the perfect fruit He has appointed us to be. In Jesus Name, Amen.