Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Cheerful Giver

    I agree with a quote I recently encountered, namely, that "McIntosh apples are the quintessential essence of autumn."

     Those of you who have been with us a while know that I am a devoted admirer of these delicate, fragrant, and delicious fruits.  Living in the Deep South, I have never personally seen a McIntosh tree, nor have I smelled the fragrance of those orchards that must elicit thoughts of Eden.  I have eaten many of the apples, of course, although their delicate texture means that we rarely get really good specimens of the fruit by the time they reach Alabama.

      It therefore pleased me greatly to discover a grocery store in town that sells a particularly fragrant, tasty, and unbruised McIntosh apple.  I was so pleased, in fact, that I did some research and discovered the company that packs and distributes the apples in Massachusetts is known for its quality produce.  The grocery store where I made the purchase also prides itself on selling only the very best vegetables and fruits.  This means I have a supply of really good McIntosh apples in my refrigerator at present, a couple of which I will enjoy today, Lord willing.

    I think that He must be very willing that I enjoy the apples.  Indeed, I view them as a personal gift from the One who “loveth a cheerful giver” because He is Himself the original Cheerful Giver (and the true source of all such beneficence).  Certainly, the Bible confirms this goodness of God’s blessed heart:

     “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).

      McIntosh apples may not be a “perfect gift.”  They are, however, a very “good gift.”  More importantly, they proceed from an infinitely good Heart that loves to “give good gifts to them that ask Him” (Matthew 7:11).  We must believe this about our Lord.  We must have sure and growing conviction in our hearts that He loves to meet our needs far more than we love to have them met.  Moreover, He loves to fulfill our desires when they accord with the glory of the Lord Jesus, and with our best interests.  Yes, this we must believe about our Lord because it is true, and because we must serve as the heralds of His goodness, kindness and generosity.  Our own hearts will be filled by the telling as well as by the receiving.  Yes, I agree that McIntosh apples are the quintessential essence of autumn.  Even more, however, they are the sublime expression of the One whose inexhaustible gifts are surpassed only by His inexhaustible willingness to give them.

“Thou openest Thine hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.”
(Psalm 145:16)
“My mouth shall speak praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever!”
(Psalm 145:21)

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