Archive | August 20th, 2013

The Blackberry Test

August 20, 2013

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My hands were sticky and purple from broken blackberries and burning from the briar scratches. They seemed to scratch me no matter what I tried to avoid it.

I had been out there for what seemed like forever to my sixth grade experience and the bottom of my pan was barely covered.

How I ended up in this mess is just a blur – All I know is I simply asked my grandmother when there was going to be blackberry jelly this year.

If she said anything, I didn’t hear it. She just bent under the sink and I heard her digging that pan out from under the sink. That pan is the pan that comes out when someone is going to have to go to the garden – and it held at least 40 gallons. Any twelve year old that hears that sound would know to run the other direction, but I was trapped.

Let me just say, I have since have tested every blackberry jelly sold in stores and I have never found one that comes close to the jelly my grandmother used to make.

Blackberries are a lot of trouble to gather, but worth it in the end!

Blackberries are a lot of trouble to gather, but worth it in the end!

After suffering awhile with the hot sand and the thorns, I see a most joyous site! Grandma was coming out to rescue me! In a matter of minutes, the pan was full enough for her and she invited me back up to have something to drink. On the walk up I asked her how long I had been out there. She said she thought it was a little more than a half an hour.

The answer to the next question became part of the fabric of my life. “Why does it have to be so hard to get the blackberries?”

With a soft laugh she replied, “So you’ll remember to be thankful for them.”

I’m sure I didn’t have a lot of use for that answer as a sixth grader, but as I read through 1 Peter 1:3-9 and think about those Christians dealing with some extraordinary times, I start to really get that. The passages about how our patience and joy should grow and abound also take me back to that day almost every time. (James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5)

“So I’ll remember to be thankful ….”

I’m sure Grandma would be proud to know she was first to introduce me to the idea that life’s challenges happen for our benefit just like these passages teach us.

I am sure too, that the jelly was the best ever that year.

Daily Bible reading for August 20

Psalm 18
1 Samuel 5:1-7:2
Jeremiah 50
1 Peter 1:1-12

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