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."


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

  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.


Comments, anyone? I'd love to hear your point of view.