Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GRATE (11/19/15)
TITLE: What Can We Learn from a Carrot?
By Chris Goglin
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Just picture yourself as a carrot. They come in all sizes…which are you? Some are top-heavy, some are skinny, and many look like they need a shave. Several have been in the refrigerator crisper drawer for months with ugly roots, and shriveled shapes. Aged carrots become so rubbery and floppy that grating them with a box cutter would be difficult. When we get older, it is the same way—our muscles grow weak and flabby; our brains become foggy, and our attitudes are not as tender as they used to be.
The familiar orange vegetables know what they are in for when they don’t meet cooking standards. First, their roots are clipped, and all the rotten spots are cut out, followed by a vigorous scrubbing and rinsing under cold water to remove excess dirt. Next, they are peeled mercilessly, and chopped into little pieces. God prepares us for our life struggles in a similar way by pruning us in just the right way to build up our bodies and souls. (See John 15:1-2) The blood of Jesus victoriously washes us clean. The living water of God’s Word keeps our hearts fresh and healthy so we can face the cruelties of this world. What a wonderful picture of the nourishing Scriptures in our lives.
Getting back to the carrot, some overzealous chefs use brute force scraping the fragile stems manually, or processing them into a pile of mush…more acceptable for baby food. While this may be wonderful for those with no teeth, most people desire a crispy texture. We tend to overdo and become burned out when trying to accomplish feats beyond our capabilities; consequently, our health and family life may suffer. Treating our bodies with care and gentleness will keep us as fresh and wholesome as a bright, crispy carrot. Just as we protect our vegetables in a crisper drawer, we should maintain our bodies so the Holy Spirit can work within us without harmful distractions. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” 1st Corinthians 3:16 (NIV).
Let’s think about how we can become more tasteful and appealing in our daily lives, like our friend, the carrot. Sure, we may feel like our knuckles are raw from being grated over life’s hardships; however, we have a Savior who stands in battle with us, keeping us tough and unwavering. May we all be a sweet savoring aroma to God no matter what heartbreak or tragedy occurs in our lives. “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God…” 2nd Corinthians 2:15 (NLT). Basically, no matter how inadequate we feel, God is in control. He is always ready to resolve our unexpected problems with His grace and love.
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