Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Berry Much Like Discipleship

I just picked these luscious strawberries from my backyard. In a few days there will be that many again. And this from our small little lot! Amazing, huh?

Well, the really amazing part is that I was not resposible for a single one of the plants that bear these beauties. When we moved into the house we are in now, the yard was completely barren. Both front and back were nothing but dirt waiting to sustain life. We brought with us a very large assortment of plants in buckets and large containers from the house we had been at previously. The property was sold to a developer and knowing that all the roses, shrubs and perennials would be turned under, we took them with us.

By the shed in the backyard (at the new house) I planted a plumbago because it was a shady spot. But alas, the plumbago died and in its place a strawberry plant germinated. I paid no attention to it. I expected that since it was the offspring of a hybrid, was growing in the shade and in clay soil to boot, that it would not do much at all. I basically ignored it. It only got water when I intentionally watered plants around it.

But this little strawberry plant was determined to live and so it did. The next spring it was still there and the next. Once in a while it put off a little tiny strawberry but since it was in the shade it bore hardly any fruit.

Then it happened! The little plant began sending off runners - lots of them and some managed to land in the sun. And I began to get strawberries. The new plants then sent off runners and now six years later I pick strawberries from several hundred plants. I have tried transplanting some, but the ones I left in the clay soil seem so much happier and productive. I guess that they just became accustomed to the harsh soil and do best there.

I call this strawberry "Franciska" since it seems to be entirely unstoppable. (If you have not read about Franciska, click on this link to get there.) And it seems to me that what I have seen Franciska Berry do is a good example of discipleship.

The Lord brings us to life spiritually. Most of the time our situation in life is not ideal when He saves us, but He has given us life and that is our joy. He causes us to continue, even if our circumstances do not improve. But we are alive to Him and in due time He brings about growth and fruit bearing. As we get nourished in the light of His word and enjoy our relationship with Him, we begin to be concerned for others and God uses us to witness of His love.

God expects that others will come to know Him through us and that we will make disciples, teaching them what we know of Christ. If we all did what we are commanded - love God and take discipleship seriously, we would see an explosion of new life springing forth - new followers of Christ bearing much fruit, like my strawberry patch in the backyard!

May we take the example of Franciska Berry to heart. What great glory to God would result!

1 Comment:

Christeen said...

What do you do with all those strawberries. Can you freeze them? I ask b/c I just bought 3lbs of strawberries from the store for under 3.00 a great deal but not as great as having your own plant. I wanted to know how to freeze my berries.

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