The apple tree lifts its hands in praise against a cold November sky.

The apple tree lifts its hands in praise against a cold November sky.

The aged apple tree stretched toward the heavens with its thin, finger-like branches standing stark against a November sky. It grew on the forest’s edge surrounded by pine, oak, and hemlocks. It grew in spite of its conditions, quite obviously a happenstance, a surprise to the forest shadows.

I watched this tree throughout the seasons — its burst of fresh green in the spring, blossoms like delicate voile against the rough and ancient bark. Apples red embellished the forest’s edge and fed the deer grazing below. And now, just today, my eye saw something new in this season of rest.

The sun shone high above Chestnut Hill. The apple tree, dwarfed by the towering pines, rested in the shade. But, the sun — as only the sun can do — squeezed its radiant beams through the forest canopy and lit up the fingertips of the apple tree. There, on the ends of the sky-high branches remained apples — fruit from another season, another time

The light appeared to give the old apples new life.

It highlighted a rich beauty in this season of rest.

I thought of my own winter season. Evidence of fruit and God’s faithfulness abounds, yet at times the fruit seems to be leftover, rather than fresh and new. Could it be that as I lift my hands to heaven like the limbs of the apple tree, the Light of the One I love will break through the canopy of shadows and illuminate His beauty within me?

Could it be that it is the Light of His Presence that makes all things new — that makes all things beautiful in His time?

Yes! When we praise Him regardless of circumstances and thank Him in all things, the Light of His Presence illuminates His beauty within us. Our faith comes forth as gold. Proven. Tested.

And we know the One in whom we have believed.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,  that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ … ~ 1 Peter 1:6-7