I was out for a walk in the first snow one fall day when I saw these apples. The branch hung over the fence in the back lane. The owner picks the fruit on lower branches on his garden side. These are more difficult to reach, so they remain unplucked year after year.
In my last post I described my dream about Esther in Ephesians. It was bracketed by two dream scenes. In the first, people were at a banquet, hosted by the evangelist. He paid for the meal. The tables were laden with food like the luxurious feasts on cruise ships. I noticed most of them were filling their plates with desserts and sugary confections. Garbage cans overflowed with healthy entrees that had been sampled and tossed.
In the last scene (after the Esther part) the banquet hall was nearly empty. I asked someone where I could get breakfast and they pointed to plates on a very high shelf. With effort I could just reach the edge of a plate and slowly slide it toward the edge until it tipped and I could catch it. It wasn’t possible to see what was up there so there was no picking and choosing. A couple of other folk managed to stretch up and coax plates down. They also held nutritious organic fruits and vegetables and bread.
There are seasons of ebb and flow in this life. Graham Cooke calls them times of “Hiddeness and Manifestation.” Sometimes there is such a strong sense of the Holy Spirit’s active engagement in our lives we can’t take it all in. Sometimes there are seasons of questions when answers seem to be sparse, when we have to stretch (move in faith) and fill up on solid basic principles about who God is and who we are in Him. These are seasons of preparation.
Razzle dazzle days are wonderful and God loves to party with his kids. That’s when the crowds show up. But sometimes he holds back to see who will be there when understanding doesn’t come as easily, when the entertainment factor is missing, when they need to ask for their daily bread, when they need solid nutritious food.
I found something to stand on then reached up and picked one of those apples. It was crisp and cold and sweet with just the right amount of tartness. Best apple I’ve ever tasted.