Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Lesson From the Peach

As I walked from the barn past the old peach tree, I noticed that most of the peaches had fallen to the ground already.  Such a shame I thought.  What a waste.  I looked at them and decided that several of them looked perfect even though they were on the ground.  So I took a "shirt-tail" of them into the house with me and deposited them in the kitchen sink in some cool water.  (Y'all know what that means don't you?  A "shirt-tail" measure is just the amount of something you can carry in the bottom of your shirt with it folded up.)

As I began to peel and slice the peaches I noticed something.  All of them had flaws. Some more than others but still and yet ALL of them were flawed.  My husband didn't poison them this year to keep the bugs from eating on them so they were left to nature and therefore the reason for all the bad spots!

One peach in particular looked perfect. Pale pinkish blush over milky white skin.  I thought to myself, "Here's one the bugs missed!" But when I cut into the peach I saw how mistaken I was! It was rotten to the core with a big ole white worm eating away near the peach pit! Disgusting! It had looked so good on the outside! And had I never cut it open I would have never known about that worm eating away the heart of the peach. That is, until it just collapsed from the inside later on!

Isn't that the way it is with people too? We may look good on the outside but only God can see what's going on deep in our hearts.  Sometimes we are like the Pharisee who looked at the tax collector beating on his chest asking God to forgive him for being a sinner and say, "God, I'm so glad I'm not a sinner like that man!" In regard to this, Jesus said, "I tell you, this man (tax collector) went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

We need to be more concerned with what's going on deep within our spirit rather than trying to impress others with our outward appearance or our Pharisaical attitudes. What God said to the prophet Samuel is just as true today as it was then: "for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

Are we whole?  Or are we rotten? Or are we wholly rotten?  Makes me want to take a better look at myself and see if my outward appearance agrees with my inner convictions.

By the way...I was able to salvage enough peaches for a small bowl full.  They are yummy on ice cream.  If the damage to the peach was small, I was still able to cut off the bad and use the good that was left. There were a few that were, as I said earlier, ''rotten to the core'' and had to be tossed.  I want God to cut out the bad from my heart so that I can still be used by him.

God bless you!


Friday, August 9, 2013

When the Sun Gets in Your Eyes

Yesterday morning while walking by a window, I was surprised to suddenly be almost blinded by the bright morning sun! The mini-blinds were still in the closed position and I think that's one reason the bright sunshine was so startling!  I was not expecting it!

My first reaction was to squint my eyes and turn away. It hurt to look at the bright light!  My next reaction was to be happy that the black rain clouds had parted to let the sun shine through!

I have pretty much those same reactions in my spiritual life sometimes. When I stop praying and reading the Bible as I should and let the darkness of the world creep into my life (in other words, just as my blinds were in the closed position, so is my mind sometimes) and then I see or hear a word from God, I quickly squint and turn away! It hurts my spiritual eyes to look at God (who is light according to 1 John 1:5..."This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.") when I've been in spiritual darkness.  The reason for this is found in John 3:20..."For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."

But because I'm a child of God, I don't want to stay in darkness so my next gut reaction to God's light is the same as when I saw the sun streaming in the window...happiness and relief that the darkness had parted and the light of God had once again reproved me of my sins and helped me to regain the joy that darkness always destroys. Then instead of trying to get away from the light, I go toward it!

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

Thank goodness Jesus won't let his children run off and hide in the darkness for very long at a time. And there's coming a day for us Christians when there will be no more darkness and no more night. John tells us in Revelation 21:23, "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."

Looking forward to spending an eternity in the light of the Lamb!