Monday, November 24, 2014

The Forgotten Fruit and the Bruises It Bears

Figs don't get the publicity they used to. And even though many great lovers of fruit have heard of this treat, they have yet to actually try it. This is travesty. If you've ever tried the fig, you know what I'm talking about. It is truly one of the more unique flavors in the fruit kingdom, with a soft texture which is mixed with the crunchiness of its seed core, and it has a sweetness which is quite separate from any other kind of sweetness.

Those from the Middle East do not have the same problem of not knowing this fruit - it's all over the place! The fig is to Middle Easterners what the apple is to Americans, I suppose. If you've read any of the Bible, (hint: it was written in the Middle East) you know that the fig is quite the stud among his fruit buddies.

"Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs." (Amos 7)
If you've read the Old Testament, you know that Amos is one of the Minor Prophets and has his own book (whoa). However, the man did not come from a line of prophets and was not designated by Israelite Prophet Association as a licensed minister. He was simply called by God to do what he did, but that's a lesson for another day. In his previous life, Amos was a "dresser of sycamore figs."

Now, the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon talked about Amos in a much cooler way than I could ever expect to. He says,
"...a more correct translation might be a bruiser, a trainer or preparer of sycamore fruit, the sycamore fruit being like a fig, though not quite so excellent in flavour. It was believed in the East that it would never ripen except it was a little bruised, so that some person was employed with an iron comb to scratch and wound the skin. Unwounded the fruit, even when ripe, was too bitter to be eaten, but after it had been wounded, it ripened rapidly, and became sweet, and was not an objectionable article of diet."
It seems as if one of Amos' primary positions in life was to literally bruise fruit. Imagine talking about that job at your high school reunion. However, unless the fruit was bruised, it was not made sweet enough to be enjoyed. Unless it was wounded, it wasn't good for anything but the trash heap.

Dear friend, I don't know what it is that you're going through right now, but hear me out for a second: maybe God's allowing some things into your life so that you could be made useful for a greater purpose. Consider for a moment that the pain might be God's way of giving you nothing to grab onto but Himself. Maybe the hurt, and doubt, and brokenness is His way of preparing you to bless someone who will experience the same trial. I know for a fact that this happened to me.

Maybe God's bruising you so that you might become sweet.


Post a Comment