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Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Prickly Place

The community we live in has hundreds of walking paths. We take family walks and bike rides every week.

This is our favorite time of year to enjoy the pathways.

Because there are blackberries. Everywhere.

We are berry pickers.

There's just something about picking fruit from a tree and eating it right there.

"They taste yummier if they haven't been washed off and if our hands are dirty," according to my kids.

Plus, the berries are free and I'm all about free.

And you can usually hear me say about 173 times, "Watch out for snakes. Please, watch out for snakes!" Because snakes like berries, almost as much as we do.

To get to the biggest and sweetest blackberries, you must fight your way through some nasty thorns. The best berries are usually deep within the bush. You can't wear gloves and grab the berries, so we end up with little thorns in our hands and legs.

And, those thorns hurt! Many times, before we can even enjoy the fruit, we have to remove the thorns.

But some sweet things are worth a few pesky thorns.

As a Christian, there are days I wish my life was free of worries, stress, trials and THORNS. Sometimes, I even feel entitled to this. When I find myself in a prickly place, I don't usually anticipate it. Or enjoy it. You know, because of all the thorns.

I want the sweet without the sour.

But according to James 1: 1-4, we are to;

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

When we pick berries, my kids anticipate the sweetness. They know we will be putting them on top of ice cream or baking a blackberry cobbler. They don't enjoy the thorns, though. There is much whining and complaining about those thorny stickers. But the fruit wouldn't be there without the thorns.

They grow together.

And so, even though it is challenging to 'take joy' in the prickly places, we must remember that those trial produce sweet fruit and character.

The next time you find a thorn in your flesh, remind yourself that the harvest will be abundant.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the sweet times. They sustain me. Especially when I'm in the prickly places that are uncomfortable and difficult. Help me to remember that You are with me and that through these difficult times, I'm becoming more like You. Amen.

In Him,


Kristen can be found daily at We are THAT family!

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Blogger Becoming Me said...

Excellent perspective and post. As a fellow berry lover and life liver...I so related.

June 8, 2008 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger ChristiS said...

How very true...and a great reminder for those tough times! Thank you!

June 8, 2008 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Genny said...

What a great devotion! Thanks for the reminder!

June 8, 2008 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa J said...

With all that my cousin is going through right now, this was a wealth of encouragement. You just seem to say the right thing at the right time. I am so glad God works through you. I am truly thankful for you and the postings you make.

June 8, 2008 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Great post, Kristen,
Thanks for sharing it.

I used to be a blackberry picker. We had a huge patch in the field outside our back yard. We dressed in our long jeans, and shirts and headed out. We would gather so much that we would sell them. Of course my grandmother bought most of them. She'd take them home, wash them and bake a blackberry cobbler to give us. Those were some fun times...some great memories. My grandmother went to be with Jesus 17 years ago... It's nice to remember her today.

This post makes me think of Hosea's story and how God hedged Gomer in to protect her. I don't know that I ever considered thorns as a protection....

Thanks for sharing,

June 8, 2008 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger lori said...

Kristen, have such a way...without the thorns the fruit would never make it fully would be stripped long before that...
I really, really liked this post...I've been thinking about it for a few days now...I just can really relate to the "thorns." I don't necessarily LIKE them...although I'm trying like the dickens to find JOY in them...but they ARE necessary...GOD sure does know what He's doing!


June 8, 2008 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

My parents have always told me "What doesn't kill you, will only make you stronger!" Thanks for your word and the berries look yummy.....Cindi

June 8, 2008 at 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Rhonda said...

How true. So many times in life we question God and ask "WHY". He gently reminds us that He is in control and proves his faithfullness to those who love him. I am truly blessed.

June 8, 2008 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Great post and very true!

June 9, 2008 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Natalie Witcher said...

mmm, "the harvest will be abundant!" I like that part!

June 9, 2008 at 11:00 PM  

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