Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground — everything that has life.”
And that is what happened.
Genesis 1:29-30 (NLT)
Every autumn of my childhood, my family would drive to an orchard far out in the country. It felt like a magical place. We’d sit on hay bales placed on a flatbed trailer and pulled by a tractor through the rows of Honeycrisp, Gala, Macintosh, and Cortland apples — each variety noted with a colorful ribbon tied to the trees. We’d hop off the trailer when we were good and deep in the orchard, then run the rows, climbing into the trees to get apples off branches above our heads.
They had a fantastic bakery featuring these amazing caramel apple puff pastries and cider donuts. They pressed cider there in the big barn, and if we were well-behaved, our mom would let us walk up an old wooden stairway leading to an observation deck above the press. We’d watch the apples travel down their runway, go into a washer, bounce along into a platform that seemed to jiggle the dirt right off, go through a peeler, and end in an enormous vat that somehow magically transformed the apples into the delicious cider we took home in gallon jugs. It was one of my favorite days of the whole year, and it had little to do with the apples. (Now the donuts are another story. I would drive hours for those donuts.)
The food and apple picking were a perk of the whole orchard experience – the real joy was found in enjoying creation together with my family.
The Lord has given us everything that has life – including apple orchards, animals, and each other. With one breath God created all that moves and breathes and sings, dances and argues and speaks, swims and jumps and runs. That includes you and me. On the days when we feel tiny, insignificant, small, and as though we don’t matter very much, we need to remember that each and every breath we take was given by God.
This breath was also gifted to your spouse and your kids. To that guy who cut you off in traffic this morning. To the co-worker who never holds the elevator. It was given to your pastor. Your neighbor. Your college friend who riles people up daily on Facebook. God gave life to each and every person who crosses our paths and to each changing leaf, ray of sunshine, raindrop, and tree branch. Ours is a God of creativity and fun. I see it in our golden retriever, in our young children, and in every autumn visit to the orchard. Where do you see the creative work of God?
In case you’re curious, we do still visit that orchard. One year, we showed up for our annual apple orchard day, and it was closed. We were devastated. The next year we received an email telling us that a family had purchased the orchard, and they would be reopening in the fall! We drove up on opening day, and I inhaled a cider donut the minute they handed it to me over the bakery case. All was right with the world again.
If you don’t already have a tradition of going to an apple orchard, start now! Pack a bag with water bottles, wet wipes (apple picking can get sticky), and a fully-charged phone for picture taking. Take a drive, enjoy picking the apples, indulge in cider donuts at the bakery and apples straight from the trees, and have fun!
Creative God, thank You for making everything that has life. Thank You for including me and my family among those wonders. Help us glorify and praise You with the very breath You’ve given us. Amen.
Adapted from Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul: 25 Devotions for Autumn, by Anna E. Rendell. Copyright © 2018. Published here with permission. All rights reserved.
Anna E. Rendell, the Digital Content Manager (and a regular contributor) here at (in)courage, is the author of Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul: 25 Devotions for Autumn. If you’re a fan of crunchy leaves, chilly days, bonfires, hayrides, and all things pumpkin, this is the devotional for you! On each of the twenty-five days in Anna’s book, you’ll find a Scripture verse, a brief devotion, a question to ponder, and an “extra shot” – inspiring quotes, recipes, and fun autumn ideas — like espresso for your soul!
Here’s to experiencing soul-deep, heart-filling moments this season. Here’s to spending intentional time with our family and friends during the season of gratitude. Here’s to pumpkin-flavored everything! Get your copy right here.On the days when we feel tiny, insignificant, small, and as though we don’t matter very much, we need to remember that each and every breath we take was given by God. - @annaerendell in #pumpkinspicebook: Click To Tweet