One of our ladies gave an illustration a few weeks ago that keeps popping into my head. For some reason, it struck a cord with me. Maybe it did because I struggle with both not trying to be someone else, and with feeling like I need to be. Her illustration was simple:
"You never see an apple straining to be an apple. You don't see it working itself into a sweat trying to grow and ripen. You also don't see it trying to be an orange. It just does what it is supposed to do, and that is just be an apple."
Now, that may not strike you as strongly as it struck me but it hit me like a ton of bricks. The illustration has a number of lessons. First, if I am an apple I don't need to be anything else. I just need to be an apple. I don't need to try to be anything but what I am. I don't need to be a different kind of fruit or even another kind of apple, just the kind I am. If I am a Gala apple, I need to just be that. I don't need to try really, really hard to be a Red Delicious.
Second, allowing God to do the growing and changing is way easier than trying to do it myself. Really, God does it either way. One way, I put a whole lot of effort into it. Just be what I am. Let God do the growing. Don't try so hard to be something God already created you to be.
Third, and maybe most potently it takes a whole lot less energy to just be what God created you to be than it does to try to be something else.
Are you a mother? Then just rest in the fact that God has you there right now. Don't look at any other apples and try to be what they are. You are the kind of apple God made you. You are growing your own little future apples (I really like this metaphor :) but those aren't the same ones being grown on the next tree.
Are you wishing you were a mother? Heart-wrenching sis, but rest in the timing of the perfect Grower. Easy for me to say, I know. But hang in there.
Are you a wife in a struggling marriage? Hard, I know but what an amazing fruit God is growing in you. Rest in him.
Are you struggling with illness right now? Its not really fair to look around and see so many other fruits enjoying a perfect season, while you struggle but be where you are. The apples with the worms are the sweetest! :)
Are you just not where you want to be right now? Remember all fruit has seasons. God's important work is done in all of them. Rest in his timing and in your season.
Here is the honest truth. I don't know where you are, what areas you compare yourself in. I don't know what gives you that sense of "not-enough" or what cause that "wish-I-was". All I know is that I struggle with my own, and I need reminding that God has us where he needs us to grow the best. When we have a heart willing to submit to the Grower, he will be faithful. He will prune us, and tend to us and create in us what he has planned all along. It will be so much easier if we just rest, and let him have his perfect work in us.
Be an apple. Stop struggling so hard.
We are going to keep thinking about this topic. There is still plenty to say about it. But let that mull for a bit. I am praying for you sweet sister.
A fellow apple,