This morning I spent 45 minutes, bucket in hand, blissfully picking blueberries from our neighbor's prolific bushes. I wasn't trespassing. I wasn't stealing. I was an invited and grateful guest. Our neighbors are on vacation and gave us their blessing to "help ourselves." So, I have brought in buckets full several times this week. Ten bags are in the freezer. A cobbler has been finished off, and a pie is in the oven as we speak.
I LOVE picking blueberries. You don't have to get "down and dirty" as you do for strawberries. You don't get chiggers as you do for blackberries. Ripe blueberries practically fall into your hand with no thorns or impediments of any kind. And, they are SO sweet.
The scene reminded me of a great verse quoting Jesus in John 4:38 -- "I sent you to gather where you have not planted. Others have planted and you have come along to gather in their fruit.” (New Living Version) Years ago a former neighbor planted the bushes where I stood today. His son helped by mulching and keeping the weeds away. Now the current owners, along with Steve and me, are reaping the results.
I was also reminded of a mission trip Steve and I took to Venezuela in 2001. The dedicated, hard-working Venezuelan pastors did the hard work of preparing their people and reaching out to their communities. We, and a host of team members from Alabama, came along to help bring in the harvest, and a pastor friend who was with us described it as "picking low-hanging fruit."
I believe we wake up every morning harvesting blessings from God that we did not plant. If we have our health, that is a gift from God that should not be taken for granted or squandered on meaningless activities. If we have a roof over our heads, a bed in which to rest, and food to eat, those are provisions from God. HE gave us the opportunity to get an education and find a job. HE allowed employers to see our potential. If we have a family to love, each minute should be appreciated and enjoyed. If we have accepted God's free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, we can look forward to spending eternity with Him in heaven.
So, those loaded blueberry bushes provided a powerful, visual devotional time for me today. What harvest are you reaping today that you did not plant or water?
1 Corinthians 3:6-7 -- "I planted the seed. Apollos watered it, but it was God Who kept it growing. This shows that the one who plants or the one who waters is not the important one. God is the important One. He makes it grow."