We’re All Bruised Apples
I was a wreck.
I was emotionally devastated at all the changes in my life. Sometimes, I get lost in all my worries, and all the realizations I have about the world cripple me. I was a sopping mess that night. My mind just doesn’t shut off, and all my incessant worries kept me tossing and turning. I wasn’t trusting God with it all, either.
I was in a place I think a lot of us often find ourselves, a place of fear, a place of failure. I would think to myself,
“How could God do anything with me? I keep screwing up. I keep falling down. I’m a total mess. How could he use me?”
As I dragged myself out of bed at nearly 6am, unable to sit through the mental torment any longer, my stomach grumbled with hunger. Groggy, exhausted, and frustrated, I wearily stumbled into the kitchen and opened the fridge. I found an apple. As much as I wanted to scarf chips, and bagels, breads, cheeses, and fats, I made myself eat an apple.
And that’s when I felt God saying it to me. Quietly, in the back of my mind,
“Drew, you’re like this apple.”
What, God? I’m an apple? Thanks, I guess? Is that a cheesy way of saying I’m sweet? Or, if I’m this apple then are you saying I’m small, and oddly shaped? And there I was, staring at this small, oddly figured apple with a few bruises at six in the morning as the sun peaked through the kitchen blinds.
I went and laid back in bed after eating the apple, wondering if God had lost His mind. How was I like an apple? A small, bruised, organic apple.
“Drew, you’re like that organic apple. It’s small, and bruised, but it survived the trials.”
Light bulb. I threw the sheets off, and the sorrow I was holding inside was flooded with joy. My grief was overpowered by love and security.
You see, that apple I was eating wasn’t some conventionally grown apple. It was organic, which means it endured the grueling process of growing from scratch. No pesticides or fertilizers. No GMOs. This apple was a product of suffering. It underwent storms, droughts, and survived all sorts of pests. It lost brothers. It was beaten, battered, and threatened every day.
And it made it.
And the product of all this chaos which surrounded it was a small, delightful apple.
You see, often the best things are the things that survive the storm. They’re the things that survive the beating life tends to bring. This is how God does things. He doesn’t make them pretty and neat from the get go. He uses the beat down, struck out people like you and me. He uses the has-nots, the have-nots, the can-nots. He uses the weak, the small, the underdog, the outcast, and the lame.
And it’s the story of the whole Bible. Think Jacob. Think Moses, David, and a lot of the prophets. Think of the Disciples, and Paul. And just read Acts, or crack open the Old Testament. Scripture is littered with a whole lot of bruised apples.
Even the first chapter of Genesis shows this.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” 
The earth was formless, vacant, void. Those words in hebrew, tohu and bohu, mean confusion, vanity, emptiness, unreality, formlessness, chaos, and nothingness. Out of a seemingly futile chaotic nothingness, God formed the entire cosmic order. He turned a great big mess into a grand exposition of glory, creativity, and raw beauty.
And out of seemingly hopeless, broken people, God carved his way through human history, ultimately winning over in Jesus, and creating everything anew through the very means of death and suffering. Through suffering, chaos, and seeming emptiness, God can make new things. Beautiful new things.
Even the worst of us. Even the not-so-bad of us. Even the ‘best of us’.
His promise is to make all things new. And He’s going to finish what He started. It doesn’t matter where you are now. What matters is the Grace of God, and what it can do through you. Just like Paul said, when we are weak, then we are strong.
- Genesis 1:1-2 in case you didn’t know. ↩