The feelings of frustration tempt us to make impulsive and costly decisions.
The waitress who walks out mid-shift because she’s having a bad night.
The baseball player who quits mid-season because he is in a slump.
The husband who walks out mid-marriage because he can’t handle the stress.
Sometimes it’s good to pause in the midst of frustrating moments and listen for the voice of wisdom. Wisdom doesn’t yell, or weep, or beg. Wisdom whispers.
Jesus told the parable of a frustrated vineyard owner:
And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.
And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’
And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'” (Luke 13:6-9 NASB)
The interesting thing about this parable is that Jesus left it open-ended. Did the owner give the tree another year? Did the tree bear fruit after all? Did he eventually have to cut it down?
Extending grace and patience to a situation does not ensure positive results. It does, however, give an opportunity for change.
What situation in life is causing you frustration? Instead of making an impulsive and potentially costly decision, perhaps you could extend grace and give an opportunity for change.
Listen for wisdom’s whisper.
Even if you end up cutting down the tree, you will rest well, knowing that you gave it every opportunity to be fruitful.