Dozens of varieties. I didn't realize there were so many different types of apples. My husband and I stood in the middle of Mercier's country store, trying to decide what apples to choose. With so many choices, we decided to read the placards posted about each variety. There were apples for baking. Apples ideal for sauces. And apples for just plain snacking. Each appeared to be a quality specimen, hand-picked from the orchard and ready for consumption.
With our selections made, we headed home to sample the luscious fruit. True to the description, the Pink Lady was a firm, sweet apple, good for eating and great for cooking. The Staymen was a bit tangy and was recommended for baking, although it was also delicious for snacking. We chose the Cameo for juicing and also found it to have a sweet, spicy flavor when cooked with raisins and just a dash of cinnamon. Delicious! The final variety we selected were traditional Granny Smith apples. Something about the tangy tartness of this apple in a pie just can't be beat.
Although all of them were apples that shared many of the same characteristics, each was cultivated with unique qualities. The same is true for each one of us. Our Creator designed us to have similarities, yet each of us is one of a kind. God made mankind special. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them," (Genesis 1:27; KJV). The Psalmist David acknowledged the wonder of God's design, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well," (Psalm 139:14).
Each one of us is created with talents and abilities that reflect the Master Designer. To one is given the ability to paint beautiful pictures. To another is given the gift to build. Yet another plays music with inordinate talent. And the list goes on. Boasting in our abilities is unwise. Any talent we possess is a gift from the Creator, and should be used to make Him known.
Throughout the centuries, God's plan has remained the same - to draw all men unto Himself to spend eternity with Him (John 12:32). He wisely equips each one of us to reach those in our sphere of influence. It is our privilege to use the talents and abilities He's given, to point others to Him. King David was a gifted musician, who skillfully set the thoughts of his heart to music, "O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds," (Psalm 108:1-4).
Praising God puts the focus where it needs to be: on our Heavenly Father. Using the abilities that He's given me, I choose to give Him the honor and glory He deserves today. In the process, I'll be pointing others to the Creator!
What talents and abilities do you have? How will you use them to glorify God and draw others to Him?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the diversity in Your creation! Thank You that You created each one of us in Your image, giving us unique talents and abilities. Show me how to make the best use of the gifts You've given me to make You known to those around me. May the people of all nations be drawn to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.