As most of us know, I’m still taking my lovely journey through Matthew. A few days ago, I came across the infamous story of the fig tree. Jesus is hungry, walks up to a fig tree, and sees that it is fruitless. So what does Jesus do? Go to another tree, right? FALSE! He essentially curses the tree, and it withers up immediately. If you’re anything like me, you may think this is a bit harsh. Like…Jesus…with all due respect…what..what did that tree do to you? Then, it hit me: it was fruitless. He created it to produce. He created it to give and sustain life. Yet, when He arrives, it looks like a tree and feels like a tree, but there is no substance; there’s just…stuff. This passage showed me that God doesn’t want us to just exist. He doesn’t want us to just be in the right place at the right time. He wants us to produce. He wants fruit. There are a lot of things that I don’t know about God, but one that I do know is that He favors results.
This is not the only time in the Bible that proves that God favors results. There’s a parable in which he speaks about a man who gives 3 servants ‘talents’. One servant received 5, another received 2, and the last one received 1. The servants with 5 and 2 talents both doubled what they had. However, the final servant hid the one that he had, and buried it in the ground. The man comes back to the servants, and praises the first two servants. The third one gave excuses, but that didn’t help him much. Actually, he eventually had to give the little that he had to somebody else. I’ve always loved these scriptures, because they remind me to work with what I have. When it’s all said & done, God won’t ask me what I did with your 10 talents, He’s going to ask me what I did with my 7.
I believe that everybody has something. Some call them gifts, talents, callings, etc. Regardless of where you are and what you’ve done, there’s something in you that God has equipped you to do with excellence for His glory. There are people that know their purpose and walk in it. Others know and run from it. Some don’t know at all. Some don’t care. Regardless of what category you’re in, we are all on the same level in the sense that we all have something…special. Nobody can do what God created you to do like you can, and that’s a part of your power. That’s what God wants you to produce from. That’s your ‘tree’, if you will. The issue lies in the fact that we get so caught up in somebody else’s fruit that we never produce our own. Then, we go to God and ask for more! What are you doing with what God has already given you? Are you working it? Or are you sitting on the sidelines wishing you could be like the people you see on stage? (random sidebar: as somebody who’s been on a stage or two, let me tell you it’s not that glamorous lol) It’s one thing to learn from others, but we must be careful that we don’t neglect the unique thing that God has given us because we think that where we are isn’t good enough. You are where you are for a reason. You have what you have for a reason. Everything that you need to succeed is in your reach. You just have to….make it produce.It’s a trick of the enemy to make you believe that what you have, regardless of how small it may seem, is ineffective or that you can’t produce fruit where God has planted you. So let’s go behind the scenes and find the value in the grace God has given us to produce in our purpose.
It's important to recognize that behind every blessing is a burden and that there's a story behind everybody you see on a stage. Actually, I’ve often found that the bigger the blessing, the heavier the burden. One of my favorite examples is the one, the only….Beyonce (yep, I said it lol). Have you ever really considered what it’s like to be Beyonce? Yeah, you’re rich. You have more awards than I have years on this earth. You get to perform in front of thousands of people at one time. You know the President of the United States. Good life, good stuff. But….you can’t go to Target in sweats and an oversized t-shirt without causing an uproar. You have to take a security team everywhere you go because everybody wants your picture and nobody will let you eat in peace. You’re on the road for years at a time. You can’t step outside without everything being in the right place because there are people outside waiting to take your picture. People are shocked when you’re…normal. There’s a lot that comes with the life that she lives that we never see. Or, for all of my lovely saints who don’t know who Beyonce is, or are wondering why I didn’t start with somebody like Bishop Jakes, let’s talk about pastors. There’s a lot that comes with being a pastor (or evangelist, etc) because while you get to bring people to Christ, you have to spend hours, days, and even weeks preparing sermons. You can get put on a pedal stool that you may not be able to handle because people easily forget that you aren’t Jesus Himself. You have to be an example in order to be effective, and live the life that you tell the people about every week (which is actually pretty hard sometimes). Everybody calls you for everything (pastor! my sister is tripping! make her stop! lol). There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that needs to be done that people never see. Now, because God knows all of this, He calls us to what we’re equipped for, not what seems easy. If you dare to trust His wisdom, you’ll see that He does actually know what He's doing, even when we don't.
Another reason that we should all produce fruit from what we have is that God could be using us to clear the path for somebody else. Somebody can see walking in your purpose, and realize that it is possible for them. Somebody needs to see your faith, your drive, your perseverance so that they can know how to handle the storms that come their way, and what it really takes to accomplish their dreams. Your story has more value than you think it does, suga. For example, I’m in law school. Since I’ve been in law school, I’ve been surrounded by young women that want to go to law school. Many of these women are like me; they don’t know any (or many) attorneys. They don’t know what law school is really like. They’re unsure of how the (complicated and expensive) application process works. They've got a dream and the drive to make it com true. So, I’ve been able to shed some light on those areas, and tell them my story and how I made it through my struggles. But what if I’d decided that I wanted to be like my mom and be an accountant? She seems to like it. She's helped a lot of people with that knowledge, I can too!!! Well, not only would I hate it (I’m not the one to chase 2 cents in a journal or ledger lol), I would’ve missed my chance to minister to and/or mentor those women. I wouldn’t have been able to let them know that it’s hard, but it’s possible with God. I wouldn’t have been able to encourage people to apply, and some wouldn’t have realized that law school isn’t what they really wanted until after they’d taken their first semester (who has time or money for that?! NOT I! lol). All of these things have given me life, and that life is something that I would’ve missed if I didn’t value what I had, and if I wasn’t determined to produce fruit from it.
I’ve said all of that to help you realize that God isn’t as worried about numbers or glamor or fame as he is about your fruit. He wants your results. Work with what you have and watch it multiply. Whether you’ve got 10 talents, or 2, dedicate those talents to His glory and watch the fruit grow. Your fruit is your impact. It’s your results. It’s what you offer to the world that nobody else can. However, we must recognize that bearing fruit takes time. We live in a world so fast that if something doesn't come quickly, we don't want it. However, anything worth having is going to take some time to obtain. If your fruit comes quickly, it will likely rot quickly. We’re all called to be fruitful, not just fast. So, do you have fruit? Or just a lot of leaves? Let’s be fruitful, y’all…one day at a time.
Background Music: Pressure (definitely a repeat, but it's so relevant!)
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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