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  • Jane Wheeler

The Crab Apple Tree Lesson

I am thick into the process of making apple juice from our plethora of crab apples, I do a couple of batches, get on the ladder and pick some more crab apples. I find on the ladder with my head stuck up into the tree a place of clarity. Okay, so there are apples bopping me on the head, sticks poking into my scalp and the smell of apples fragrancing the air, but beside all that, it is a place of clarity.

I think being in nature is often a place of clarity and what I mean by that is that being outside experiencing nature, clears your head. It gives you time to think.

So I am up near the top of the ladder grasping at the biggest red apples on the top of the tree and marvelling over how many there are, when I get an object lesson.

This tree is not a new or young tree by any measure, and I pondered what an amazing amount of fruit this old tree is producing.

I have been feeling my age lately, as the number creeps up larger, my body does not recuperate as fast, my doctor laughed at me last month when doing a mini eye exam and told me to go see an eye doctor. I even got a letter in the mail last month showing me how much pension I could get at various ages over the next few years, if I decide to apply for it.

Things are changing; I’m not ready.

And then the tree……

I marvel that God knows what kind of things “bug” you and He sends lessons out that if we are watching, we will catch.

Mine this morning was in a crab apple tree.

This old crab apple tree, dropping tons of crab apples onto the lawn that I have to rake up each week before mowing. It keeps getting larger and larger and we have to duck when we go under it, it seems to have a life of its own and overpowers the back yard. We even pondered cutting it down next year or at least cutting it back. The apples have deepened to a dark wonderful shade of red and they grace the dark green of the leaves with their beauty. Producing more apples than probably a whole block of families could ever want. It is in its glory!

It was then that God whispered, “life is not over because you age, you can produce the most fruit as you get older. You can be beautiful. You can be in your glory!”

And I smiled and kept picking more apples.

Matthew 7:16-20 New International Version (NIV)

“ By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

By their fruit you will know them. I marvel that older people can get away with a lot more stuff, say things that people listen to and often even want to hear. If we realize that the older generation’s job is to impact the younger, for good, not crankiness, that gives us purpose.

This scripture kept coming to me, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9

God let Cain know that he surely is his brother’s keeper. We might be the only Christians some people ever meet, what an opportunity to share the love of God and His message of salvation to them.

God’s answer to Cain’s question “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is sobering.

“What have you done?” replied the LORD. “The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.…”

More than an opportunity, more than our business, it is our job, our purpose while on earth, to share God and His gift of salvation with everyone all around us no matter what age we may be at.

Let’s make it our vision to harvest such a yield of fruit that it will be just like that of my little old crab apple tree a plethora of people!

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