It was our traditional apple-picking weekend adventure, and I found myself doing a little less picking and a lot more aimless wandering.
I was unusually drawn to the apple plenty cluttering the ground beneath the trees. Some were squashed to bits, their pieces and parts a feast for tiny insects. Others, seemingly delectable, had revealed a mere blemish or bruise when turned and plucked and were also cast away. They joined the rest in the accumulating heap, all kicked aside, unworthy to hold a costly seat in stamped paper sacks journeying home to fill treats and tables. We were guilty of the same. (Though at $25 a tote, who could blame us?) Even still, I couldn’t help but consider the trampled discarded bounty.
How often do we hand-pick what to glorify and what to toss aside?
We glorify particular gifts and talents, ministry calls, professions, or personalities. We even glorify certain seasons, circumstances, or moments of life (our own or others’). We are quick to scrap the seemingly damaged, meek, or simple—failing to recognize the purposed value in each. We appraise what we have, what we do, and where we are, and perhaps unknowingly place assessed merit, and therefore contentment, accordingly. We exalt some while stepping over others as wasted and useless.
Have we forgotten the Maker whose hands have carefully crafted each and every moment with perfect sovereign love? He sees in a way we can’t; His ways are higher and mysterious and good. How is it that we deem a subjective measure of worthiness when the God of the Universe came as a poor babe, died in humility, and specializes in the exaltation of the dirty, bruised, and broken?
As we look ahead to this coming year, I’m re-learning that pretty, blemished, or ordinary, each season holds a distinct eternal value all of its own. I’m re-learning that His faithfulness stretches across them all and saturates all cracks and crevices between. And it’s because of that, and because my good God has ordained them, I can call them each worthy and full of good purpose.
“I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’” (Isaiah 46:9-10).