Literally every day on this journey of unraveling grace, God reveals something to me He’s been trying to say for a long time. The question I hear myself ask Him over and over again is, “Why didn’t I get this before?” I mean really, I know some things take time, but 44 years (Yes, I should go read my own post about John the Beloved’s transformation…what can I say? I am slow!)?
So the other day I was cutting up an avocado. A friend introduced me to them a year or so ago and I love them. I love dicing them up in the skin, scooping them out, adding a little onion and salt and devouring them. As I chose mine the other day, I made sure that it was the color I associate with ripeness and that when I squeezed it my finger and thumb sank into the skin a little bit without it feeling mushy. From the outside it appeared good, ripe, ready to eat.
I took my knife and sliced all the way around the outside in a circle to make two halves. I noticed it felt a little hard, but at that point I was undeterred. Then I began to pull the two halves apart, but nothing happened. I pulled harder and harder, still nothing. The skin actually started coming off around the outside of the fruit (I did in fact verify it is a fruit since I usually don’t know these kinds of things), but the two halves were not separating. They were clinging together like their lives depended on it.
Finally, I had to work my knife to pry them apart. What I could see then was that the two halves that seemed so resistant to separation were not really clinging to each other, but the pit. An avocado will practically give up the pit when it is fully ripe. The pit will come out fairly easy and fairly clean, with little of the flesh stuck to it.
My not-yet-ripe avocado was a complete mess. I practically had to use a hammer and chisel to get the pit out of the middle of that thing. Almost half of the flesh of the avocado stuck to the pit when I finally got it out and by then I was thinking, I am kind of scared to eat this. Anything that puts up this much of a fight has to be dangerous!
Well that message is true for me as well. All these years that God has been whispering the love and truth of His grace to my spirit, my flesh has been clinging to my own “pit”. I wasn’t ripe to receive the message. He was speaking, loving, pursuing and I was unwilling to open myself up and allow my pit and my flesh to be exposed. I was clinging to them as if my life depended on it!
In His time, however, when I was ripe, releasing that pit and exposing my true self has just seemed to happen. There’s been no forcing, no chiseling, no hacking away. It’s simply been a work of God and the natural response, because of who I am – a redeemed child of God – is to hand over that pit.