Red, ripe, sweet Strawberries! Picked fresh from the fields today! Mmmmmm
A trip to the strawberry fields has always felt like the kickoff of summer to me.
I hear ya. Kind of a late kickoff this year. Strawberry picking in Minnesota is usually finished long before the first week of July rolls around.
Well, better late than never I say. And the strawberries taste just as sweet the first week of July!
The girls and I have been picking strawberries together for years.
And for all of these years, I've sent the girls into the row ahead of me with our flat for collecting the berries between us. Not only has this arrangement worked well for getting photos of the girls as they've worked (they're still so darn cute! Please don't tell them I said they're cute! Apparently cute is no longer allowed at their ages),
but it has also allowed me to come along after them and clear out any fruit they didn't dig deep enough into the strawberry plants to find.
As children they would skim through and grab the easiest to locate berries. They were eager to keep moving forward. They missed a lot of good fruit. Fruit hidden deep in the plant. Fruit that needed some digging deep to find.
I noticed this year that the girls have learned to slow down. They gathered much more fruit this year than they had in the past.
This got me to thinking.
Our faith walk is much the same.
Galatians 5:22-23a But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
There are times when I want to reach for the easiest fruit.
I want to love, but I only want to be loving when it's easy.
I want peace, but do I allow God to give me peace only if life is making me feel happy.
I want to be long-suffering/patient, but sometimes things really annoy me!!
I want to have self-control, but not when it comes to chocolate or Starbucks please.
Yep, grabbing at that surface fruit, so I can quickly move on to the next thing, is very appealing. But if I allow myself to be content with that I will miss out on the best fruit! I will miss out on abundant fruit!
I want to love in a way that is willing to sacrifice!
I want peace that passes my understanding! Peace that comforts after the death of a close friend! Peace that rests in God knowing that He will overcome the hardest situations in my life!
I want patience that waits for the Lord's timing, that endures through the hard times, that sees the bigger picture!
I want self-control so my focus is on His glory and satisfaction not just my own.
I want joy and long-suffering, kindness and goodness, faithfulness and gentleness! I want them in abundance!
This is the fruit the Lord wants to give each of us! He wants us to have it in abundance! All we have to do is gather it. All that is required is slowing down and digging deep...deep into scripture...deep into prayer...deep into trusting God. Then we shall reap a harvest that cannot be contained!