Blueberry picking – it was something I wanted to do. The boys balked – maybe because it was a melting hot July day or because they didn’t care about blueberries.
But blueberry picking we went. The farther away from town we ventured (a whole 6 miles), the more distrusting they became – like I would drop them off in the middle of nowhere for a family of grizzly’s to devour them.
Off the paved road, onto a gravel road, moving to seeming nothingness I drove;.
When we arrived, they were almost glad to pour out of the van, out of the air-conditioning into the hotness. As I handed out buckets the blueberry lady handed out advice, “Find the paths that lead into the blueberry bushes. There’s not much on the outside bushes. The good ones are deeper in.”
For a moment, I followed her advice a bit like my boys would follow mine. I saw the blueberries hanging on the peripheral bushes, and thought, “Wow! What was she talking about? These look mighty fine to me.”
I picked like that for a little while, my mind ping-ponging back and forth between the blueberries my fingers reached for and the blueberry ladies words.
Reminding me of a time someone shared a closer relationship with Jesus with me that I brushed off with a smile -The Hope of a Seed planted in Faith.
“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11)
I had great hopes for my blueberries, what I would make with them, expectations of a bit of Spring Time in a winter storm. In the quiet of the blueberry patch, with the occasional murmur of voices from more than just our group of pickers, the silence sounded different than town silence. The birds in their 10 a.m. routine called back and forth – there were more of them than us. My mind kept returning to the blueberry lady’s words and my blueberry expectations. Could there really be better blueberries?
The voice of seeds planted murmur to your heart if you are truly seeking that relationship. Those seeds don’t give up.
“Oh God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water”(Psalm 63:1)
Sweat rolled down my back, and I wondered how long before the boys would be clamoring for a drink. In an instant, I decided that if there were better blueberries, I wanted them. Taking the blueberry lady’s guiding words, I moved away from my outside bush, ready to try to step onto a path that took me deeper. It wasn’t much of a path. I had to push a bunch of blueberry branches out of my way, pushing to see if the berries deeper in the path were really that different. Would my expectations be redefined?
Curiosity got the best of me. Curiosity about more of God. Was there more? Was there better? Did I really know the best God had to offer? Or was it just the best of what I knew? Easy to get to, easy to see. I was willing to see if I knew it all – willing to admit I didn’t know it all, part of me secretly wanting there to be more of God.
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you”(James 4:8).
I shoved my fears aside, tic fears, chigger fears, creepy-crawly fears – The deeper I moved, the more surrounded by a Holy silence, heralding something wonderful to be revealed. Blueberry picking deeper in the patch, I pulled the outside of the bush aside, and delved even deeper – and found the most beautiful of the blueberries. My ignorance almost kept me from the best.
As I picked those blueberries, I thought how like our relationship with God this is. At first, we are satisfied with the exterior relationship but as the relationship grows from God to follower, Savior to saved, Father to daughter, Groom to bride – the intimacy grows as we draw nearer and nearer.
“I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
My lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands” (Psalm 63: 2-4)
I popped outside the blueberry deepness and called to the boys, showing them what they would find if they went deeper into the blueberry patch.
Sometimes my boys respond to me like I did to someone sharing a closer relationship to God with me, when I brushed them off with a smile. But she pointed the way, just like I point the way – to a deeper relationship. And those words just sink in, in a Faith and Hope way, like seeds, that will whisper to them, murmur to the, “Draw closer. There is more. More than your knowledge knows.”
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
When I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
For you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63: 6-8)
A faith seed planted, resting and growing in the Hope that it would lead me into intimacy with Him. I heard the murmurings of Hope and Faith, and I pressed in, drew closer, sought Him in places I wasn’t sure existed and reached out to Him.
In that blueberry path, that hot July day, I thought how faith grows when one realizes the possibility that we do not know it all, when we concede there might be more to God than we know – and we are willing to step into those paths that speak of a closer relationship with God – believing what Faith said about God, leaping in expectation, focusing on the goodness of God, trusting, having confidence that there is more to God though we may not know that more truly is.
In that Hope, we humble our selves when we realize we do not know it all – but are willing to get uncomfortable just to redefine our expectations of our relationship with the Father.