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
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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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