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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In The Kitchen - deadline 7-19-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/12/12)

TITLE: In the Land of the Living


“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14)

I sat cross-legged on the kitchen floor in front of the glass sliding door—every muscle in my little seven-year-old body willing the apple tree to grow. The day before, I had enjoyed the ripest, sweetest and juiciest apple. So just before I swallowed the seeds, I snatched one from my mouth and ran out the door to plant my ripe, sweet and juicy apple tree. With the seed gently planted under the layer of rocks that lined our front patio, I began my vigil.

After a few days of painstaking disappointment, I abandoned hope.

Before I could completely forget my dream of eating apples from my own back yard, however, my father came to shed light on my disappointment. I was sitting at the kitchen table—working on my next big project, and he sat next to me on one of the tall yellow stools.

“Whatever happened to your apple tree?” he asked, with a sparkle in his sea-blue eyes.

Sighing, I complained that it hadn’t grown yet even though I’d waited so long. Then, in his sweet and gentle way, he broke the news that it probably wouldn’t grow under a pile of rocks. And that even if I had planted it in the right kind of soil, it would take a very long time to grow.

More than thirty years have passed, and I’ve encountered many disappointments that far outweigh the apple tree incident. But through it all, I’ve learned the secret of waiting in the land of the living—a secret that depends upon allowing my Heavenly Father into the kitchen of my life. There, He sheds light on my disappointments and reminds me of the missing ingredients that will help me to endure the wait: wisdom, confidence and patience.

God has given us an abundance of great and precious promises—among the greatest being that we will see His goodness in the land of the living. Wisdom reveals that His promises are like seeds meant to be planted deeply in the fertile soil of faith. Confidence is the ingredient that enables us to continue watering the seed even if we don’t see signs of life; patience is the ingredient that helps us to persevere until the promise finally comes to fruition. God’s goodness is like a sturdy apple tree—bearing the ripest, sweetest and juiciest fruit imaginable. If only we will wait.

Recently, I drove past the site of my childhood apple tree let-down. The old town-house hadn’t changed much from when I was little. And there was still no apple tree. But now I know the secret of the seed, and I am waiting for a greater apple tree: the goodness of the Lord. I will see it in the land of the living. And I am willing to wait.

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This article has been read 418 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Connie K Cameron07/19/12
That was a really well written story with a great lesson. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you
Jody Day 07/20/12
Very nicely done. I like the reference "the kitchen of my life". This is a wonderful devotional with a great scripture, a hook, and a good lesson with a satisfying ending. Great job!
lynn gipson 07/20/12
This is lovely...my appleseed didnt really grow until three years ago when I became born again! Thank you so much for reminding me.

God Bless
C D Swanson 07/20/12
Wow - powerfully executed with fabulous analogies, messages, and the parable Jesus told. I loved it. Great job and so well written! Thank you for sharing.

God bless~
Patsy Hallum07/21/12
Great writing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/21/12
Wow this is one powerful devotion. You did everything right. You started with the perfect verse to enhance your message. By telling a true story, you connect with the reader in a deep and masterful way. I just love your message in this and it is one I need to hear right now. I do tend to get impatient and want things done on my timetable but you did a brilliant job of gently and lovingly remind me that it needs to be done on God's schedule, not mine. I just really love this powerful little piece and it is certainly one of my favorites this week, if not of all time.
Frankie Kemp 07/22/12
As I sit reading this--awake too early because I'm fretting, waiting and watching for my own apple tree to begin sprouting--I can't help but see what the power of God can do when He is behind our words. We think we're simply responding to a challenge, but could it be that God is much bigger than that and that He takes our simple seeds and sometimes grows them out of our sight? No "could it be" about it! Did you know when you wrote this that it was exactly what I needed to hear from the Lord at exactly this moment? No, you didn't. You don't even know me or my circumstances--but He knew. Amazing! If nothing else comes of this beautiful piece of writing, I hope that you can be blessed by knowing that the Lord used it to speak to me.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/26/12
Congratulations for placing 7th in level one!