Reprinted from ages ago
I bought a box of strawberries last week. They were lovely. They smelled wonderful through the plastic, and each seemed fully red-ripe. So, I bought them. All fruit needs washing, Mom always said, and these lovely berries were no exception.
Something strange happened, however, when I opened the plastic cover and began the bath. The first berry was far too lovely to cut! This one had to be preserved for the final product; a ‘deco berry’ I called it. The next one was washed and cut into a small bowl. The third berry was like the first, just to beautiful for the knife. Its little green hat was all fluffy and full, and its shape and color qualified it for the ‘deco berry’ pile.
I continued the process for a few more moments. Shortly it became obvious that most of these perfect red orbs deserved to be preserved, uncut, unchanged and dedicated for decoration.
My ‘deco’ pile was greater than the cut pile. These were truly beautiful. Then Jesus began to show me something.
These beautiful, perfectly formed gems were like my trials in this life. They are gifts from the Creator meant to remain in tact and not diced into manageable little chunks of my own choosing. Trials and heartaches are really life decorations Jesus gives. We do not like them. We want to chop them in little pieces and mix them all together with other events; other fruit, and fix a nice little salad that will camouflage our pain. Yet the master would preserve our trials untouched for the decoration of our souls in Glory.
Trials and heartaches are like those incredible strawberries, perfectly formed to adorn the masterpiece, you and me. Do I dare say, enjoy them? In a way, yes. At least recognize the beauty of trouble; how it draws us to Him; how it hones our prayer life; how it clears our focus.
As Christians, our tears always run deep. Yet, in the darkest valleys we are the ones, bent over by the sucker punches of life that see the tiny flowers and berries growing by the path. We are the ones whose prayers buoy the sinking dreams and throw out the forever-anchors of faith. We are the ones whose breaking heart sounds out hope for the lost and summons Heaven’s help.
“I will not question trials that bring me to my knees, that’s just His way of telling me He loves me.” Remember that old song? So let us treasure the decorations of trouble and pain considering the end product great gain. Happy Strawberries!