BERRY GOOD WORLD
When I retired I put out several l-o-n-g rows of blackberries.
What was I thinking! When they began to produce, they produced in abundance; most years we picked from 50 to 70 gallons a season. This year, alas, many of the berry bushes died – whether from a too-cold winter, a too-hot summer, or from some unknown disease. There were few berries. We were dismayed! Then, whether by chance or divine guidance, I discovered a large thicket of blackberries on another part of our property.
The bushes were loaded with large, lush berries! What a discovery! What a joy! I have no idea how they got there. The lesson I learned from this is that when all my plans and preparations fail, God provides!
GOD is a giving God! From the beginning, God created galaxies and universes, and filled them with suns and moons and stars. Then God selected planet-earth, and filled it with every living thing. When He was satisfied that he had done a great job, God created Adam and Eve. And God said: “This earth is your home. I give it to as a gift. I believe that you are responsible people, people I can trust to take good care of the world.” So,God and Adam and Eve worked together to make this earth a more beautiful and bountiful place to live. And they called it Eden – Paradise – Heaven on Earth.
God gives! Gives life. Gives love. Gives joy. Gives peace. Gives faith. Gives salvation. Gives hope. Gives blessings – physical blessings and spiritual blessings. Every good gift comes from God! Every thing good that we experience in life originates in God! God is a cheerful giver!
God is a generous God! God always gives us more than we deserve, more than we have earned, more than we expect! The Psalmist said it best: “My cup runneth over.” Life is so full of God’s blessings that life cannot hold them all! God continues to bless us with generous gifts: life; loved one, friends and neighbors; more-than-enough-food; ample clothing; adequate housing; a great country to call home; countless freedoms; opportunities to work; opportunities to learn; opportunities to give back to life; opportunities to serve God and others; opportunities to worship God.
God is a gracious God! God sends His sunshine and rain on saint and sinner alike, on both the just and the unjust. God gives His blessings to all His children, those who love and serve Him and those who refuse to love and serve Him. God has no favorites! This is hard for us to understand, because we are too often un-godly in our thinking and doing. We play favorites; we give gifts to those who are like us, those who agree with us, those who might do us a favor in return. Not God! God showers His blessings on every one!
As I began to pick blackberries, I mourned the loss of those last-year-bushes and the berries they could have produced. I did, however, thank God for the berries I did have! Then, when I discovered that bountiful new patch of blackberries, I rejoiced! God is always surprising me! God is always more generous and gracious than I ever expected! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! This is indeed a berry good world!
Dr. Don Kuehle
United Methodist, Retired