Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Our raspberries, so remarkably hardy that they flourish in spite of the cold Montana winters, went crazy this year. It could possibly have something to do with the fact that we got them cleaned out, fed and faithfully kept them watered (as opposed to last summer's weed filled, overgrown mess). The point is, however, that they did incredibly well, spread like wildfire and produced lots of yummy berries. It was a good year for harvest.
A few days ago, we had our first frost. We covered the gardens and hoped that everything survived. That frosty morning, as I was looking out the window while drinking a nice, hot cup of coffee, I noticed a lone raspberry on one of the canes. Now this particular cane is one of our oldest and is quite the worse for wear. In fact, we weren't even certain it was alive this spring. It has many browned leaves and isn't as tall or lush as the others. What amazes me most about this old, raggedy raspberry cane is it's fruitfulness. It outproduced all of them with it's sweet, wonderful berries.
This ugly, sad looking little bush made me think of a scripture in the book of John.
"By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit."
God wants to use my past (and even those things that aren't exactly the distant past) for His glory. Every decision, act or behavior--good and bad-- makes me who I am today. All of those ugly things inside me that God has redeemed, every scar that remains even after He heals my hurt and my heart, every tear He has wiped away, every victory that I can claim and every joy and blessing that He has given...all of these things are my responsibility to use.
There are days when I feel like that raggedy raspberry cane looks...brown, old, small, worthless, useless. Tired. Days when I feel like I have nothing left to give--fruitless. But then I am reminded of His mercies that are new every morning, of the miracle that is my heart, of His grace that is greater than all of my sin. I remember these things and find myself extending grace and love where I had once been judging and frustrated. All of those things that the enemy tries to use against me, my God uses for His glory. He sees beauty where I see ugliness. He tells me to love others as He loves me. Be Fruitful.