Monday, July 27, 2009

Lessons from the Bramble Bush

Shortly after we bought our house seven years ago, I set about creating a flower bed in our back yard. All was well, but for one very persistent weed. I uprooting the first small, prickly weed and that was the end of it that year. Each and every spring this thornbush popped up, sturdier than before - and each and every spring, I redoubled my efforts to rid my flower bed of the unwanted plant.
This spring, busy with other things, my flower garden took a back seat to my vegetable growing endeavors. When I finally did turn my attention to my flower bed, that old bramble was back again - except this time it was very thick, covered in impressive thorns, and about six feet long. I trudged to the shed to get my gloves, but the thorns poked through the fabric so I figured I would just cut it off at ground level as I had done in the past. I was distracted from my weeding and when I came back to the garden days later, the briar was covered in beautiful blossoms. Realizing that the blossoms resembled those on my red raspberry plants, I decided to watch and wait to see what this weed would produce.
My answer came soon enough - blackberries, lots and lots of big juicy blackberries.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

As I have been visiting my little blackberry bramble frequently as I pick the abundant ripe berries, I've been thinking. When it comes to bearing spiritual fruit, how often I am easily discouraged? Many times, in the face of discouragement, I walk away rather than stand my ground and trust in God to work through me. This once little weed faced me trying to destroy it year after year, but kept on trying - with no encouragement from anyone - and wildly bore fruit past any one's expectations. May it be the same for all of us!


April said...

From one April to another: What a neat story!

e-Mom said...

A nice post, April. My husband doesn't like "stickers" and he prunes them away. But I love blackberries, and try to save a few just because!