Bruised, misshapen and downright ugly: a good friend offered me a bag of mid-summer Lodi apples. I was skeptical at first. What would I do with these smaller-than-normal apples? What would I want to do with these apples that were characterized by their imperfections?
My friend raved about the applesauce made from these summer-ripened apples processed through a food mill. She convinced me that the time and effort were worth it. All I needed to do was quarter the apples and remove the bigger bruises, bug trails and stems. The food mill would do the hard work and separate the peel, seeds and “junk” from the desired smooth applesauce. The result was surprisingly wonderful. The applesauce was tangy with just enough sweetness: a unique flavor all its own.
We can go through life and end up with evidence of attack, bent out of shape and feeling small. God still accepts us, even embraces us with our imperfections. God is able to bring sweetness out of the ugliness and into our lives. It may seem a far-fetched possibility, but the result is always based on God’s character, not ours.
At times, we need someone to remind us of the vision and reassure us of God’s goodness in our lives. Jesus Christ on the cross speaks volumes about the love that makes it possible. Let’s reach out to God in the ugliness of life, knowing that His presence is the sweetness and His glory is the proof of the results.
Taste and see that the LORD is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
2 Corinthians 2:14
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.