Every Spiritual Blessing
Beautiful, fresh, plump strawberries….mmmm…they are certainly a terrific harbinger of the summer season that we’ve been so looking forward to–and now, here it is!
This past week, I was able to join some sweet friends in the U-pick strawberry fields to fill up a basket to bring home…and since I arrived after my friends did, and they were about finished picking, they even helped me fill my basket–how sweet is that?!
Within minutes of being picked, these berries were bubbling into a lovely ruby-coloured jam….mmm mmm…summer-in-a-jar!
God is just so gracious to bless us with fruit that is bursting with delicious flavours, don’t you think?!
But as I prepared these strawberries for their photo-shoot, they reminded me of a heart-tugging story I’d heard from my grandmother many, many years ago—and even now, just thinking of it makes me feel so sad for her. I’ll tell you about it…
You see, during the depression, Gramma, who was just a girl, spent her entire summer “picking berries”, as she called it….starting first with the local strawberries, and then the other fruit crops as they matured.
She would spend hours and hours labouring in the hot summer sun, gathering fruit, and gathering pennies to save.
If you’ve spent any amount of time bent over rows and rows of strawberries at 90-some degrees—that’s in the 30’s Celsius—you can imagine what it would have been like for her as a girl to just keep at it, picking and picking some more—while hot and dusty, tired and thirsty, but continuing to work anyway, just dreaming and saving.
Wages in the depression were less than meager–pennies per box or basket that she filled with fruit…and it took her an entire summer of working to gather together much cash at all.
So it was a really, really big deal when her older brother offered to take her to the city to go shopping! I can imagine her young eyes were as large as saucers just at the thought of travelling first by street car and then a ferry system–all the way across a great lake, in order to reach the big metropolis where she could buy her very-first-e-v-e-r-store-bought dress!
She’d always worn second-hand clothes or, dresses made-over from hand-me-downs.
Today–many of us can’t even begin to imagine such a thing! But such were Gramma’s circumstances.
Well, while in the big city, Gramma would have been amazed at all the new dresses that she saw—but this time—this time–in her wallet was enough money to actually buy a simple—yet beautiful-to-her new dress!
She proudly made her purchase—her smile just beaming as the clerk wrapped up her purchase! And I can guess her big brother was fairly pleased, too!
Carefully clutching her prize, they traveled all the way back by ferry, across the lake, waited, and then boarded the street car, and then rode to the end of the line where they would have to walk the rest of the several miles back home.
The excitement of the day had been so great, and the adventure so large, that the young Lillian fell asleep on the street-car—most possibly dreaming of her new dress!
But when they came to the end of the line, she awoke with a start and sleepily followed her brother off the street-car….
….leaving her brand-new dress behind!!!
It was probably almost instantly that she realized her grave error—
–but it was already too late! As the street-car returned to the depot, it took her treasured dress with it!
The walk home that night would have been dismal..and miserable for Gramma!
And the next day, when they trekked back to see if the dress was found and set aside for them—
Being hard times for most everyone, someone had discovered and kept the young girl’s parcel for themselves…and it was never ever seen again!
An entire summer’s worth of working, labouring, picking berries in the heat—only to have it all lost on the street-car……
In an extreme contrast, it’s certain that our lives are filled up with so many blessings–far more blessings than we probably ever count–or even thank the Father for!
It gives us a reason to pause–and really deeply consider–all–that we are lavished with:
-the love of family and friends!
-health for today!
-more than adequate clothing, and food!…
-and clothes!…and cars!….and jobs!…and…and…!
We are full…and so well-cared for….at this place and time in history!
But the greatest blessing of all is that—whether rich or poor—we may enjoy the myriad spiritual blessings that can be found in Christ: that we can know God–and His truth—talk to Him in prayer–and receive His love and care—and grace and hope and strength—as He offers salvation through Jesus—to all those who will believe and obey Him!
Nothing—nothing—compares with these blessings!! Everything else fades in comparison!
And though Gramma lost her treasured new dress that sad day many years ago—in time she came to know God, and discover the vast riches of the blessings in him! That’s what really matters! Her dress—no matter where it ended up–has no doubt rotted away by now. But Gramma discovered something of eternal, unfading value! She shared those riches with me—and now, because of that, I can share them—with you!
Passages you’ll enjoy for further study:
Ephesians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:26-27.