Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Lesson of an Apple

I haven't written in this space in more than a month, and there are many reasons why, which could fill a couple of blog posts. I soon hope to be back on a more regular basis. :)

In the meantime, I want to share a brief lesson I learned this morning - from the gift of an apple.

After nearly a week and a half away, I returned to the island on Monday, and though I enjoyed my recent adventures (more to come on those!) truthfully, it was good to be "home" - to my peaceful and beautiful island.

Before crossing the waters from mainland to the island, a visit to a Jinja supermarket is always in order - to pick up the "essentials" like coffee, toilet paper, soap, and niceties like apples.

Apples are kind of a delicacy here since they are not grown locally and are brought in from the farther and cooler, mountainous regions. They are sold in the supermarkets and by pound are considerably more expensive than other tropical fruits. However, apples remind me of my American home and the yummy fruits grown there. :)

Since Monday, God had put a particular fellow staff member, Peace, on my mind. I had bought two apples in Jinja and God was prompting me to give her one. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were super busy with classes, exams and other activities at school that I didn't get around to the request. But this morning, on Thursday, God reminded me of His directive - give Peace one of my apples. The prompting grew stronger and I knew I couldn't let much time pass before I obeyed.

Sometimes when I feel prompted or convicted to do something, I run through a gamut of questions - "What will I say?", "Will they think I am silly?", "What if I am hearing incorrectly?". But obedience by faith means acting even when you don't have the answers to your questions.

I walked into the kitchen where Peace works as our cook. I placed the apple on the cupboard. "This is for you," I said.

"Oh, my 'best,'" she said, meaning apples are her "favorite."

"Thank made my day," she said sincerely and gratefully.

Made her day? I didn't know the gift of a small apple could make someone's day, but God knew. God knew apples were among Peace's favorites and that she needed some encouragement. I had been clueless.

Afterward I was overwhelmed by thoughts of God and His care - for Peace and for me, for the smallest details which go often unnoticed by others, and for inviting me to be part of what He is doing in our world.

I don't share this lesson for a pat on the back as I was rather dense to what God was up to. But I want to illustrate the importance of simple obedience and how God wants to bless us as He blesses others through us.

I learned a few things this morning - don't ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, don't despise the smallest gifts, and don't miss a chance to extend a blessing to another person.