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Hidden Fruits

One of my fondest memories is my grandmother baking during the holidays. Of all the cakes she baked, her tall, flaky five layered sweet coconut cake was the by far the prettiest. With great beauty, however, came great effort. I often watched my grandmother struggle with her hammer and screwdriver to crack open the ugly coconuts that provided flavor to her cake. I remember thinking once, “How in the world can something so pretty, fluffy and white come from something so ugly, hairy and brown?”

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 says, “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” Sometimes beaten and once even left for dead (2 Cor. 11:25), Paul discovered that his present day suffering was of no comparison to the blessing he knew would come. Life’s circumstances may weigh us down and the valley of circumstantial aging may take its toll, but as Paul explains, our external troubles can not overwhelm the hidden treasure of God that we hold inside.

My grandmother was able to withstand the discomfort and work of her preparations because she knew the outcome would be joyful. 2 Corinthians 4:18 reminds us that we also may find comfort in what is to come as it states, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.” Our circumstances may appear as dry and brittle as the outside of the coconut, but as followers of Christ, we can have faith there is beautiful and delicious fruit waiting!

Reflect:

  • How can you see God using the suffering in your life to produce good things in you?
  • Where in your life do you need to shift your gaze from temporary suffering to eternal glory?
  • Despite the physical demands serving God requires, how is He renewing you inwardly day by day as you serve Him?

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