Listen to this devotional:
Colossians 1:22a – But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish. (NIV)
Having been involved with farming in my earlier years, I became acquainted with apple orchards and the maintenance required to take the perfect apple to the marketplace.
The farmer knew the care it took to nurture the crop, including careful pruning, spraying for pesticides, and the last step — the gentle picking of the fruit and packing it in a way that it could be taken to market without blemish.
In spite of all this care, sometimes nature interfered in the process. A sudden storm might arise and produce hail that would bruise the apples, making them "seconds" — fit only to become applesauce, juice, or even vinegar.
There are no "seconds" among us. Though we suffer trials, we develop our spiritual fruit, given by God and to be handled with care.
There is a comparison between apples being hit by hail and our being hit by trials and tribulations. As we develop our spiritual fruit, however, the result is exactly the opposite — since we know that our "bruising" experiences are often the very events that God uses to produce real Christ-like character in us.
Instead of our avoiding the "hail" in our lives, we end up, as James 1:2-4 says, needing to "consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, let there be no darkness that can overcome our love for You. Enable us to find the true balance in our lives with nothing too heavy to carry, trusting only in Your grace to give balance to the fruit of the Spirit that develops within us. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.