Where Did She Go Wrong?
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit — fruit that will last — and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you." John 15:16 (NIV)
Where did she go so wrong?
In school, she was the girl everyone wanted to be like — the one I wanted to be like. So much potential. She seemed to have it all: the grades, the guys, the goods … everything. It was as if she were magnetic, attracting all the best, all the time. Often I wished, "If I could have just one ounce of her talent and beauty …"
Yet, years later, not everything came together for her like I thought it would. Her ’til-death-do-us-part marriage parted early. The promising career didn’t deliver on its promise. My heart broke as her life came up so short of what I had expected. I’m sure it fell short of what she expected, too.
Life can be strange at times. What we thought were the ingredients for the perfect life can prove to not be enough. Investments made with our time, energy and emotions can seem more like withdrawals when they don’t produce what we were counting on.
It reminds me of the two types of fruit I saw when I opened a bag of oranges recently. One juicy orange, so healthy, had reached its full potential. Sunshine, water and nutrients from the soil gave the fruit all it needed to reach the fullness it was created for. I couldn’t wait to enjoy it!
Another fruit in the same bag, shriveled and pale, revealed only dried pulp when peeled. Why the difference? Both pieces began with so much possibility.
The result had everything to do with what the fruit had soaked in … or hadn’t.
When we’re planted in God, we become like the healthy fruit. Drawing from God and His Word, we can reach the fullest potential He desires. We can grow into a person who is bearing fruit as today's verse mentions — fruit that will last. If, on the other hand, we look to some person, place or thing to make our lives fruitful, chances are we’ll never become all Christ created us to be.
As I think back to the teen-turned-woman in my life, my heart aches for the time she lost, but I am joyful for the woman she has since become. Like for many of us, life didn’t go as planned. But in that place of loss and disappointment, she made a change. Instead of looking for the good life in all the places culture tells us to look, later in life she again made Jesus the focus of her life, motivation, energy and efforts. His ways and His plans took center stage instead of her own.
At the end of trying to find the life she was looking for, God took her shriveled heart and filled it, empowering her to become the woman He always envisioned her to be. The beauty she now possesses is much more than skin deep; it’s heart deep. She has truly become a magnetic woman.
Dear Jesus, I may not see it or feel it, but in me is all the potential You planted the day You created me. I want to draw on Your strength and power to become all You created me to be; I want to be a woman whose beauty reflects Your beauty. Teach me to come to You each and every day, to feed my heart so I can have a beauty that’s more than skin deep. I pray for a beauty that’s heart deep. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (NIV)
Jeremiah 17:7-8, "But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Every day we are soaking in something, both intentionally and unintentionally, by the things we watch, listen to, read and observe. Pray and ask God to reveal what influences you need to change in your life. Write them down so you can see them.
Ask God to nudge at your heart when you are tempted to turn to those things that will hinder His work in your life.