Since my blog is entitled “An Apple of Gold,” I cannot experience the autumn season without referring to it as also being apple season. I love being in an apple orchard surrounded by trees laden with fruit. Most of the apples I see are red, but there are also yellow and green ones with different shadings of color unique to each variety. While making this observation, I am reminded of a quote I read in Streams in the Desert on August 23, “Faith, hope, and love cannot be picked from trees like ripe apples.” I could spend today up a tree picking and eating apples, but instead I will pick some scriptures, quotes and thoughts to share with you about faith, hope and love. I will also be delving into a definition for patience. Patience can be described as being the willingness to endure without getting upset. Galatians 5:22 lists patience as a part of the all-inclusive fruit of the Spirit.
If I were picking red apples, I would be picking love. The reason I make this choice is because of John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God gave His Son, Jesus, to live on earth and then Jesus gave His life which involved the shedding of His blood. Blood is red, and consequently, I think of love when I see red apples. The first line of a quote by Adel Bestavros says, “Patience with others is love.” Having made this statement, I think of the following definition of love found in I Corinthians 13:4-7 New Living Translation, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” God shared His love with me and now I must share my love with others. Love and red apples are both delicious!
If I were picking yellow apples, I would be picking hope. I make this correlation because I often think of hope as being something I wait for and the yellow signal light warns me to wait and to be careful. To state the second line of Adel Bestavros’ quote, he says, “Patience with self is hope.” I am more patient with myself than I am with other people when it comes to tolerating mistakes. I will give myself more time to learn a new concept than what I may allow for others. Does this mean I have more hope in myself than in others people? When searching the scriptures for a definition of hope, I read Romans 8:24-25 in the New Living Translation, “We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)” Golden delicious apples are one of my favorite varieties for eating, so I guess hope and yellow apples have similarities for me.
If I were picking green apples, I would be picking faith. I choose green apples for faith because the color green symbolizes everlasting life to me and faith in God is everlasting. The evergreen tree comes to my mind. The last line of the quote by Adel Bestavros is, “Patience with God is faith.” God is the Alpha and the Omega; He is the beginning and the end. He is forever – He and His nature are everlasting. He is immortal and eternal. The most common scriptural definition for faith is found in Hebrews 11:1. The New Living Translation says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Faith is something I do not see because seeing is reasoning rather than faith. However, it is possible for me to have faith because I know God is an everlasting God. Green apples can last for a long tine, so I find similarities between faith and green apples.
When I make applesauce, I like to use a combination of two or three different varieties of apples. The blending of flavors produces a unique taste. I think it is similar to how I live my life. Faith, hope and love are all needed, especially if patience is to be an aspect of my integrity as an individual. I Corinthians 13:13 says it well: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” If faith, hope and love are combined in my life, patience, along with the other virtues that are part of the fruit of the Spirit, will be evident in my life. (see Galatians 6:22-23) This fruit is more than red, yellow and green apples!
Quotes to remember:
“Faith, hope, and love cannot be picked from trees like ripe apples.”
from Streams in the Desert for August 23
“Patience with others is Love.
Patience with self is Hope.
Patience with God is Faith.”
by Adel Bestavros
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
I Corinthians 13:13