"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
Then I told a cute story called "The Parable of the Apple Tree." It goes:
Once upon a time there was an apple tree which God had created. It was a young tree without any leaves or fruit. One night the young tree saw the brilliant stars and was very unhappy. He wished for himself to have these sparkling stars on his branches so that he too would be beautiful.
The next morning, God noticed that the tree was unhappy, and He said to him, "Let me make something for you. I will dress you up in a beautiful mantle of green so that you will be beautiful to behold. Then you will not be so unhappy."
But the tree was not content with God's plan. "I do not want a mantle of green, I want stars." The next morning the tree saw that God had not given him stars, but green leaves. And the tree frowned upon it.
Once again the tree said to God, "I want stars," but instead, God gave him beautiful red fruit. The tree was even more unhappy. The wind saw how unhappy the apple tree was and the wind became unhappy too. The wind blew and tried to set the apple tree free of the leaves and the fruit, but he failed. However, as the wind blew, some of the leaves and fruit fell to the ground. One piece of fruit broke into two pieces right in the middle. When the tree looked upon the broken fruit, guess what he saw? (Slice the apple in half and show it to the children. When you slice apple horizontal in the middle you will see the shape of a star.) Inside the fruit was the shape of a star!
Many times you and I, like the apple tree in the story, want a special gift like one God has given to someone else. We may even try to give God instructions as to what is best for us. We must remember that God gives each of us special gifts as he deems best. When we rejoice in the gifts he has given us and use them to do his work, then we will shine like the stars.
The parable of the Apple Tree can be found here: