Sometimes the best picking is down the road. But you need to keep walking.
That’s the lesson my family learned on a recent apple-picking adventure up north. We don’t do much apple-picking here in South Florida, so I missed out. But I got the pictures and even got a few of the apples my littlest nephews picked especially for me when I went home for Thanksgiving.
The orchard had lots of trees and lots of different apples. And it appeared that the orchard also had lots of people who had already picked over the trees closest to the road. You know, the easy ones. The fruit that’s right there as soon as you get on the path. The low-hanging stuff that doesn’t require a lot of work, or a lot of walking, or a lot of time.
And that’s why they needed a sign to tell people that there was still good picking ahead. If the sign wasn’t there, it would have been easy for the customers to get discouraged over the lack of options. It would have been easy to sigh and complain when the ground was littered with “not so good” bruised and damaged apples, when what they really wanted was a luscious, crisp, drip-down-your-chin piece of heaven.
But that sign gave them hope. It meant, “Don’t stop here! Don’t get discouraged! The best is yet to come!”. They just had to keep walking to find it.
And so it is with life.
We look around and see that our options are limited. Sometimes it seems like the best opportunities have already been snatched up by others. We may be tempted to give up, discouraged and disheartened that our life adventure turned out to be unproductive and disappointing. Maybe we’ll even settle for “not so good” because we don’t believe anything better will come along.
But there are signs for us too! God tells us that there are good things yet to come if we stay on His path. He promises to give us a future and a hope and drip-down-your-chin blessings. If we focus on what we don’t have or how hard the path is sometimes or how we think we’re too late for the good stuff, we’re basically saying we don’t believe His promises. And that’s sad.
Look for the signs. God’s signs. They say, “Don’t stop here! Don’t get discouraged! The best is yet to come!”.
Yes, indeed. His very best may be just ahead.
There is hope in your future, says the LORD, Jeremiah 31:17
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8
But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18
For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness. Psalm 107:9