In this day and age, many want the end product without working its process! The following quote paint's this principle’s picture: "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well. If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for. If it is worth attaining, it is worth fighting for." If every "good product" didn't require any work or effort behind it, everyone would have it! Solomon compares those who don't want to partake in working the process to a slothful man. “The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour”! If anything is worth having, it WILL require work!
Our passage hits this exact point in a different light –
Proverbs 27:18 Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: So he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.
Here, Solomon uses the picture of a fig tree. After a fig seed is planted, it will usually take anywhere between three to five years for it to finally start producing fruit. One cannot have the mentality of the sluggish keeper in Proverbs 24:30-31 who didn’t give much care for the vineyard—resulting in its destruction! One must "keep" the fig tree and be patient with its growing process. When the time is fulfilled and the timing is right (or in other words, when the process has been fulfilled), then the keeper of the tree can “eat the fruit thereof” and enjoy his reward!
This fig tree illustration was used to show us what can happen if we wait on the authority of our Master! God has our best interest in mind and wants to bless us abundantly, but we cannot force anything from Him. We must follow stringent principles from His Word in order to have His perfect will brought about. Paul tells us about His perfect will when he said, “... Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him,” BUT we must make sure that we “love Him” by carrying out His commandments and by waiting on Him!
There are many areas in life where we will HAVE to wait! Here are some examples:
· In school
· Finding a spouse
· In marriage
· Raising a family
· At work
· In finances
· In ministry
· One’s health
· Through trials and hardships
· Dealing with others
These are ALL areas worth waiting for and working on, but it will sometimes become increasingly difficult to keep at it. There will be thoughts and temptations to give up because it may seem like there is no hope. This is where patience kicks in! Therefore, it is vital to not forget the purpose of it all. As we embark on the process, the product needs to be our motivator. The result needs to be the reason why we do what we do. How hard and how long am I willing to work towards these areas? Can my Master one day honor me with His blessing because of my waiting and working for Him?
Our children are not going to have that “summer jump” by accident.
The Bible compares the man that does not rule his spirit to a city that is broken down and without walls.