Friday, August 13, 2010

Crab Apples


During my growing up years my mother would infrequently say, "Don't be such a crab-apple," or "wipe that sour look off your face." These scolding always astounded me, for I hadn't been aware that I was being a crab-apple. Probably because the honest expression of emotion was all but forbidden in our home, my anger and resentments at being denied certain privileges--or, more likely, at being held hostage to an abusive father figure--festered deep within, but showed plainly on my face. So much about my little world was unjust; I must have carried around with me a deep well of unspoken, raw emotions.

Today I was thinking of how easy it is for us humans to love God fervently when He grants our prayers, and how it is just as easy to turn away in a snit and pout because of some little thing He withholds. And this reminded me of my mother's words. I can't help but wonder if I do the same thing with God, if I sit and glower with a crab-apple face, forgetting that He is worthy to be praised regardless of the dips and turns of the pathway in which He is leading me. Do I sit and brood, nurturing feelings of self-pity, forgetting too that in all His wisdom (not to mention His lovingkindness towards me) He can't give everything for which I ask?

Why is it so easy to slip into black thoughts when our wills are crossed? Our sinful natures are at the core of such behaviors, of course. But I am reminded of something I read not too long ago, which said that one's will must be involved for an action (or thought) to be sinful. And so there is something I bring to this equation aside from my inherited sinful nature. What I bring to it is the deliberate choice to turn my back on all that God offers me, insisting that if I can't have the one thing I ask for, I want nothing from Him. Such childish thinking! I may not be able to help the fact of being born with a sinful nature, but I can very much help giving in to it and not only doing so but enjoying wallowing in my evil nature and self-pity. And the children of Israel murmured. I need to remind myself how much God hates murmuring!

If the fruit  my life is producing is no better than crab apples, I need to do a spiritual inventory to see if I'm even abiding in the vine. Jesus said that as we abide in Him we'll bear much fruit, but without Him we can do nothing.

A pretty humbling thought, but one which we would all do well to remind ourselves of as we attempt to walk in this world "even as He walked."


2 comments :

  1. This was really good for me right now. Thanks. How have you been doing?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Floyd,

    I appreciate you letting me know that you found this post helpful.

    I'm doing pretty well, just bumbling along as usual and hoping God can use all my stumble-bum ways for some higher purpose.

    ReplyDelete

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