I stared down in disbelief. All afternoon, my mother and I had been preparing apples for freezing. Last week, when I was visiting an aunt in Iowa, she had told me she had an abundance of apples and I could take as many as I wished. I filled two bags of apples before I headed home.
They are nice apples. They are very nice apples though I discovered there were a few bad ones in the bunch. Take the one in the picture for example. It had looked like a beautiful apple when I plucked it from the tree. There was no visible blemish and it appeared to be perfectly formed actually. Better in fact, than some of the apples that surrounded it in the bag.
I even said something about it's beauty when I mounted it on my apple-peeling gizmo and my mother turned, looked at it and agreed. That was a very nice looking apple!
The peel was removed within a few seconds and I set the glistening apple on the cutting board. Carefully I centered the apple slicer over the apple, pushed down and gasped in horror at what was revealed. The apple that had looked so beautiful and so delicious was rotten to the core! Sometimes you can salvage parts of an apple but this one was too far gone. It was only fit for the trash can and that's where it ended up immediately after the picture was taken.
I am reminded of what God told Samuel when Samuel wanted anoint Jesse's oldest son as king. He said:
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b (NIV)
It is true. We can be fooled by appearance. We can even fool others by our own appearance but we cannot hide our true nature from God.
The good news is that unlike my apple, God does not have to "throw us away". He has the ability to take our rotten core and transform it from the inside out.
Scripture quotation taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.