I really like tomatoes. I like them on hamburgers. I like them on other sandwiches. And I even like them simply as tomato sandwiches.
I like them as a juice. I like them in ketchup. I like them in salsa. And I like them in other sauces as well.
I like them in salads. I like them as fried green tomatoes. And I even like them raw (when they’re good and juicy.)
I recently picked up six cases of tomatoes and was amazed at their flavor and beauty.
Tomatoes originated in the Andes Mountains of South America and spread throughout the western hemisphere and eventually, the entire world after the Spanish began their exploration of the world.
Tomatoes are interesting because most individuals think of them as vegetables but in reality, the tomato is a fruit. (I think the fact that tomatoes are not “sweet” causes many to think this way.) To further complicate this issue, the state of Arkansas has named the tomato as both the state fruit AND the state vegetable.
And yet, the thing that I want to feature about tomatoes here is this fact: tomatoes are often harvested “early” or in an unripe state. This means that they are usually harvested while they are still green, before they turn red and are deemed as ripe. We often equate ripeness with readiness to be used and enjoyed. I think there is a parallel here with the Christ-follower, especially for the new believer. Often, it is believed that a new believer cannot be fully used by God because s/he is new, unknowledgeable concerning the faith, and, in fact, a novice. But I believe that EVERY believer can and should be used of God. Oh, maybe they are not thought of as mature, full of knowledge, and full of power; nonetheless, God is able to take even the most unlearned, unskilled, and and use them for His glory.
And the sweetness and tenderness of the tomato continues to improve as the time for ripeness approaches.
And so it is for the believer.
So do not be discouraged because of your newness is the faith.
Do not be discouraged because of your lack of knowledge or immaturity.
Instead, be assured that God loves you.
Be assured that He has an awesome plan for your life.
Be assured that He equips you for the task.
And be assured that true ripeness WILL come … all in His time.