by Marilyn Ehle
“Blessed are those (who) yield their fruit in season.” Psalm 1
A display of waxy artificial fruit sat on my aunt’s dining room table. On every visit, my dad took great delight in baiting Aunt Elsie by pretending to take a bite out of one of the artificially shiny apples or pluck some of the grapes. Of course he knew that before his teeth even came close to biting into the object, there would be a horrified cry, “DON’T DO THAT.”
Artificial fruit, whether the wax variety of fifty years ago or today’s shiny red wooden apples, are definitely not ‘for public consumption’. They are mere representatives of the real thing. There can be no sweet, juicy, tasty nectar dripping down the chin, no fruity aroma reminding one of freshly picked apples, peaches or grapes.
In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, “It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us.” To paraphrase, God didn’t make us perfectly formed, wooden Christians; rather He created us to be living, breathing persons designed to have the life of Christ squeezed out of us so those around would be drawn by the tantalizing aroma of our presence.
Grapes squashed in the grocery bag on the way to my kitchen are not attractive; they are thrown into the garbage. Yet if I were starving, even those squashed grapes would become a tantalizing morsel. People, circumstances, events frequently are used by God to squeeze me. Unlike the grape, I have the choice of exuding the aroma, the very life of Christ to the starving people around me.
Father, help me recognize that the ‘squeezing’ of life can be used of you. May I see your hand in all the circumstances and people of my life.
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