Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Berry Good Lesson

Wallace and I took Will on a ride to Papaw Paul's yesterday.  We avoided the rain showers and even got to enjoy a little bit of sunshine. We went by the ponds ("the creek", as Will called it) and then went up on the ridge.

I have so many good memories of Papaw's pond from my childhood. We used to swim there.  It's where I first let my Uncle Dennis bait a hook for me and when I first learned how to cast into the water.  It was also where I learned that you had to be quiet to fish, and that meant that fishing probably would not be my favorite habit.

Fish like people to sing to them, too, right?

So yesterday I couldn't help but notice how the sides of the pond had grown up. When I was younger, it was full of grass and cat-tails.  Yesterday, though, there was something new...

lots of blackberry bushes.

The road up to the pond had been lined with blackberry bushes when I was young.  While I never liked the berries, I often enjoyed picking them, first with Papaw and then because it meant he'd give you a little cash, which is always needed by a teenager with gas to run out driving around town.

I was shocked to see them around the pond, though, until Wallace felt like he needed to give me a science lesson.

"You know, the birds eat them and then drop the seeds."

As if I had forgotten plant biology in college, the most difficulty "easy" class he ever talked me into taking with him.

We continued up the hill to the top of the ridge, and something that Wallace said really struck me as profound. 

(Yes, write it down.  It may be the only time you see those words.)

I noticed the blackberry bushes the entire way up the hill, and toward the top the berries, though still not ripe, were huge. I commented on the size.

"It's because they are at the top of the hill and they get the most sunshine."

Something struck me about that statement. I realized that really, there's a lot I can learn from those berries.

Let's liken them to the fruit of the Spirit...

A lot of times when you eat the berries, they may be a little bit tangy... and most people tend to add sugar.  When they are baked into a cobbler, sugar is added as well.

That's kind of like our lives. We can be a bit tangy... bitter, even.  But God's Word and giving Him control, allowing His sweetness to take over, can make us palatable to others.

Also, those berries require some hard work to get.  Granted, some of them are right there on the top of the bushes... but a lot of the times you have to be willing to reach down, through the thorns, to pick all of the fruit. Kind of like life... we have to go through some thorny patches to see His fruit manifested in our lives.

And then there was that statement about the sun.  The berries that got more sunlight were bigger, more evident.

And we need more Sonshine, more of the Word and time in His presence, to have the fruit obvious in us.

Lord, I know that I can be bitter and thorny and not be ripe for Your use. Help me seek out Your Sonshine, dig into Your Word, and seek Your will, so that  I can be fruitful for the glory of Your kingdom.

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