I find pomegranates, grapefruit, pineapples, oranges, apples and grapes pleasing to the palate.
But I especially love melons.
Honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon are among my absolute favorites.
So yesterday, after finishing up our run, my husband and I stopped by the local market to grab a few items.
While in the store, I decided I had a taste for a delicious watermelon.
You see, I tend to get full after exercising. I don’t really know why. Kenya gets the munchies as I sit there feeling like I’ve eaten a full course meal.
The only thing I can stomach is fruit.
Anyway, while at the grocery store, Kenya, the family’s official watermelon-picker, grabbed one.
On the outside, it had a creamy yellow spot. That was good sign.
Now, I know a lot of people think they should look for the greenest melon, but that’s not true.
That buttery spot is where it sat on the ground and ripened. So make sure you find one like that.
Also, seek out a melon that’s heavy for its size. When you knock on it, you don’t want a dead thud. It should be firm and have a little bounce to it. Plus, make sure the melon is symmetrical and not full of dents, and dings.
I didn’t mean to turn this devotional into a watermelon-picking tutorial. But I thought I’d throw a few helpful tips out there for any fellow watermelon lovers who may not know them.
In our haste, beyond the cursory glance, Kenya and I didn’t take time to do any of our usual testing.
We saw the one spot and just went with that, bought it and headed home.
I was eager to sink my teeth into the juicy, sweet treat.
As soon as Kenya cut it open, I noticed his head shaking and not in a good way. “Uh-oh,” he muttered.
“What?” I asked. “You don’t think it’s sweet?”
He shook his head no.
I walked over, still hoping for the best.
I grabbed a spoon, dug right into the center of it and popped a piece in my mouth.
Can you say disgusting?
It was juicy, but not sweet at all.
And I do mean, not at all.
I have tasted many watermelons that haven’t been as sweet as I would have liked them to be. But never have I had one with no sweetness.
This was a first for me.
If I had to compare it to anything, it would be like a fountain drink that runs out of flavor. Have you ever had a cup of soda that tasted like carbonated water and afterward learned that the machine needed a refill?
If so, then you have an idea of what chomping on an unsweetened piece of watermelon is like.
I was so confused, I doubted my own taste buds and invited our sons Kaleb and Kedar to do their own taste-testing. That way, I could confirm whether or not it was just me.
Their frowns said it all.
As you might imagine, Kenya and I will be more deliberate about taking our time selecting a watermelon on the next occasion!
Even still, I know that not every melon—no matter how carefully we choose it—will be sweet.
But we won’t let that stop us from hunting.
You know, come to think of it, life is a lot like watermelon picking.
You don’t always get what you expect and it certainly isn’t always sweet! Nevertheless, you can’t give up on living and get discouraged because of the uncertainty of it all.
You don’t just bury your head beneath a blanket and say I’m never trying again simply because things didn’t pan out the way you were hoping.
Get up. Dust yourself off. Go right back out there again, fully expecting that the next time around things will be better. That, my friend, is the way you approach disappointment.
After all, being let down in life is inevitable.
As much as you would like them to, things won’t always swing your way. Setbacks are unavoidable.
This is not the end. God has more for you. Life is not over. You can begin again. Trouble lasts but for a moment. This is a temporary season of struggle and heartache.
You will not be in the valley forever. You will rise again. Life will get sweeter. Just hold on to your faith.
Ride out the storm knowing that Jesus is aboard the ship, which means, you will get to the other side safely.
Strong winds will blow. The storm will rage. Harsh waves will threaten to overtake you.
But you will make it through.
Because the very God who commands the seas is on your side. The One who has the power to speak to the winds and the waves, and cause them to obey His voice, is with you. There is no threat, weapon or force that comes against you that is mightier than the God you serve.
Rest in Him.
Again, it’s not over. This is not the end.
You’re coming through this with a greater testimony and even more evidence of God’s favor on your life.
To remind you of this truth, I’m stirring 1 Peter 5:10 NIV into your cup of inspiration, which says, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, you will be reminded that you will go through downs in life, but God will always raise you up again if you don’t throw your hands up and walk away.
No matter how low you are today, you won’t be here always.
You may be in the deepest valley, clawing your way through the mud, but if you look up, you will see the Son. He is shining upon you, giving you strength and guiding you all the way.
While awaiting your deliverance, I want you to declare Psalm 121:1 NIV. And that says, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Look to the Lord. He is your help.
And know that, after you come through it, God has a greater plan for you.
He has more for you.
Just wait and see.
Now let’s pray.
God, I’ve been stuck in a low place for so long that it feels like I’ll be here forever. I ask that when discouragement tries to overtake me, remind me that this season of struggle is only temporary. Right now, I declare by faith, You have more, greater and better in store for me. Thank You in advance for the new season of blessing I’m about to walk into after this. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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