Have you noticed how when you ask God to give you more of some good character trait that you almost immediately run out of it? There’s nothing quite like praying for patience to conjure a traffic jam, for example.
Ever wonder why?
Personally, I always assumed it’s because if we want a new skill, we need opportunities to practice.
But it’s so much more than that. (It always is with God.)
You might not remember that one of the minor prophets, Amos, wasn’t a priest by trade. He was a rancher. And one of his side jobs was to go out and whack sycamore figs with a stick so they’d ripen faster for the harvest.
A bit of Googling taught me that, if the figs were left to ripen on their own, they were too bitter to eat. The rush of healing juice from the whacking made the fruit sweet enough to be considered a delicacy.
When you ask God to change your character, what you’re really asking is for the fruit of the Spirit already in you to ripen faster. The seeds are there, and as you spend time with God they bear fruit. But in order for it to be sweet instead of bitter, you have to endure a few whacks to get the juice flowing. Otherwise, it’ll ripen but be totally unfit to nourish you or others.
So when you pray for patience, don’t be dismayed when you’re suddenly surrounded by the worst drivers on earth. Instead, smile and know it’s just God helping your good fruit to ripen. (And maybe take a few deep breaths.)
💬 What fruit is God whacking in you lately? 💬
“For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.” [James 1:3-4 TPT]