This week's 'thought' is adapted from a devotional written by Charles Spurgeon. I have edited it, both keeping the essence of it and yet expanding upon it. It's about 90% Spurgeon and 10% revision!
It would be good to keep in mind (as you read it) that Spurgeon's grandfather owned and apple orchard which he frequently strolled through. The beauty of that orchard in the springtime surely left a precious and indelible picture etched in his mind.
In this selection Spurgeon looks back (in his older years) wishing he had some of the traits of his youthful love for Jesus, and -- so it seems -- that others in his London congregation did as well. I found myself looking back and wishing the same. It all goes along with Jesus' challenge to the mature congregation in Ephesus (or any congregation or Christian) to restore the "first love" they had lost by, "repenting and doing the things they did at first" -- at least to the degree that they were able (Revelation 2:4-5). Enjoy.
Spring In The Heart
In looking back upon the ‘springtime’ of my Christian walk, I sometimes think God blessed me then in a way in which I wish he would bless me now. An apple tree when loaded with apples is a very desirable sight; but give me, for beauty, the apple tree in bloom. The whole world does not present a more lovely sight than an apple tree in blossom. There are few things in the whole world that excel it in beauty. Now, a full-grown Christian laden with fruit is a blessed sight, but still there is a blessedness, a peculiar blessedness, about the young Christian in bloom.
Let me tell you what I think that blessedness is. The young believer often has a greater tenderness about sin than others who have known the Lord for years. They have a graver sense of duty, and a more solemn fear of the neglect of it than some who have known the Lord for years. And they have a greater zeal than many older believers. They are doing their first works for God and burning with their first love. Nothing is too hot for them or too hard for them.
For them to go to a sermon -- no matter what weather it may be -- seems an imperative necessity. They would go over hedge and ditch to hear the Word. But some who are of older growth want soft cushions to sit upon. When the sanctuary is full they cannot stand in the aisle as they used to do, and everybody must be particularly polite to them when they come in, or they care not to worship at all.
In the Springtime of our walk with Jesus it was different. In the early years of our new-found love for Christ we were consumed with thoughts of pleasing Him and no sacrifice seemed too much. We relished every chance to sacrifice for Him as it offered us a way to display the burning love we had for Him. But often, in the later years, after the pedals have fallen from the blossom, and the fruit has ripened, and the branches are laden with the weight of a mature crop, we can often become more fixed, and stayed, and sluggish. The apple is much harder than its flower peddle, and it can look more to being harvested than to being blown about by the pleasure and will of the warm spring winds.
The mature apple has a desirable beauty about it and one can smell its sweetness, but the Wind has a harder time moving it however it wills, and the slightest bump or disturbance can cause an unsightly bruise.
Lord, may we always remember the springtime of our walk with you -- the zeal, the willingness to sacrifice, the tenderness of our consciences, and our remorse over even the slightest sin or disobedience.
May we be reminded of our heartfelt yearning to please you, and be used by you -- regardless of the cost to us, or the far off places it might lead us in order to do so.
Lord, let us not only remember these things, but let us hope and desire and pray that you might bless us with a greater degree of them once again. For Jesus sake. Amen.