My Reader, when you look at the two pictures shown above that depict “apples in a bag,” which is most appealing to you? I enjoy the crunch and juiciness of a fresh apple. It is an easy snack to grab that requires no preparation other than making sure the fruit has been washed. Many days a fresh apple is part of my lunch and I buy many bags of apples during the year. However, my friend Marcia posted on Facebook a recipe for apples in a bag that is also very yummy. (Check out the website for Afton Apple Orchard where you will find the recipe and image that I am including in my blog today. September 11, 2013 date for recipe) These apples in a bag take a few minutes to make but are worth the time for a special treat. A few extra ingredients and a little heat can alter the texture and taste of the apples. Personally, I like a bag of apples either way.
Whether fresh or cooked, apples can satisfy my hunger when my stomach is rumbling for some food. When I become aware of a spiritual hunger within my soul, scripture can offer me another kind of apple. Deuteronomy 32:10 states, “He kept him (or her) as the apple of His eye.” When doing a little research, I found that “apple” refers to the pupil of the eye where the center of vision originates. This provides me with some food for thought when I realize that I am an apple in God’s sight. Is my life like an apple in God’s big bag? That is an interesting image to think about – and blog about!
If God has picked me to be in His bag of apples, I want to be a fresh and crisp apple for Him. I do not want to be spoiled or tasteless. I do not want to be the rotten apple of the bag! In order to be an appealing apple, I need to be refreshed in God’s Word. I must allow God’s hand to touch my life is ways that will keep me to be the best apple for Him. Just like sugar and spice being added in the apple recipe and then heat being utilized in the microwave, there will be times when the Lord makes additions to my life. Some experiences may seem like sugar and spice while other times He may turn up the heat in my life in ways that may seem unpleasant for the moment but ultimately will be for my good. Honey is often referred to as a sweetener in the Bible. Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Proverbs 16:24 explains, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” In Exodus 30:23, cinnamon is mentioned as one of the spices found in anointing oil. Cinnamon is also mentioned as a precious and costly spice in such scriptures as Song of Solomon 4:14, Proverbs 7:17, and Revelation 18:13. Regarding heat, the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace comes to my mind. Daniel 3 records how God was not only with these men in the fire but He also brought them out of the furnace without any smell of smoke on them. Luke 3:16 is a New Testament reference to fire when John the Baptist explains that one (Jesus) was yet to come who would baptize with the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Shiny fresh raw apples that have been polished are appealing to the sight and delicious to the taste, but there are times when I like apples that have been cooked and the flavor enhanced by additional ingredients. This is a good way for me to understand how God sees me. I am good and acceptable in His sight just as I am, but He may choose to make some changes in my life through various circumstances because His plans include some further development and refinement of my character. I want to be in God’s bag of apples prepared to serve Him in the ways He sees fit!
My Reader, because God perceives you as the apple of His eye, do you realize how important you are to Him? Whether you identify with the fresh picked apples in the bag or with the sweetened apples that have been microwaved in a bag, both are good in the sight of the Lord. Enjoy your relationship with the Lord by being an apple of His in the bag of life! I also encourage you to try the apple recipe listed below.
Apples in a Bag
1 cut up apple
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. water
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Mix and put in microwave safe bag and microwave for 2 min. Enjoy!
(I have heard it suggested that these apples can be added to hot oatmeal, served on ice cream or used as a dip with cinnamon pita chips as well as simply eaten as a special treat as prepared.)