I found this great little place to pick blackberries this Summer. If you have never encountered a blackberry bush, allow me to educate you. These beautiful, fruit bearing plants have as many (if not more) thorns on each branch as a rose bush. The thorns are smaller and stickier than any rose bush I have had the pain of knowing. If you get stuck in the thorns, trying to release yourself from them is quite a feat! You must wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt even in the hottest temperatures if you don’t want your skin to be ripped to shreds!
You have to really be a blackberry lover to want to pick your own because the best berries are always in the center of the bush. One must reach deep into the bush to harvest the most desirable fruit. Birds love blackberries and I am sure the best berries are left behind because they aren’t willing to risk their flesh to dive deep into the thorns for their sustenance.
Because God created the earth, I believe that each created thing tells a story of His love for us or can be utilized as a lesson for us to learn from. As I ventured deeper into the thicket of bushes (determined to get the prime fruit) I began to focus on how this bush could teach me an important lesson. If I moved to the right or the left, I had to be aware of my surroundings or I would instantly be stuck to the bush and have a tough time getting out without injury. As I dove in deep after those little jewels, I began to wonder if this was how our Lord felt when that crown of thorns was placed upon His head. Was He thinking that the pain was worth each one of us (His precious little jewels) who would hopefully bear much fruit for His kingdom. When that crown of thorns was dug into His head was He anticipating the harvest of souls that would come from His ultimate sacrifice.
If you have not noticed, this has been a bountiful year for crops, especially in New Jersey. New Jersey is the gateway to the United States (not New York). Ellis Island is in NJ. Revival begins in NJ. As our dear friend, Judi Valencia says, “As New Jersey goes, so goes the nation.” The Lord has been speaking to me that the crops are a prophetic sign of John 4:35: Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
There are so many beautiful people all around us who are ready and searching for salvation. They just need someone to point them to Jesus. Not everyone will appreciate the amazing gift you have to offer, but sometimes when we stick our hands in to reap the harvest we will feel the pain of thorns. Jesus was well acquainted with grief and rejection. We should be able to handle a little of that ourselves. Let’s love Jesus back by loving those He puts in our path enough to share the amazing, fruit-bearing, freedom and extravagant love we have in Him.
Song of Solomon 7:13The Message (MSG)
Let’s look for wildflowers in bloom,
blackberry bushes blossoming white,
Fruit trees festooned
with cascading flowers.
And there I’ll give myself to you,
my love to your love!