Romans 5:4-5 – Endurance brings God's approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God's gift to us. (GNB)
A favourite time of year for me is blueberry season here in southern Ontario, Canada. We are blessed to live in an area that has many "pick-your-own" farms, and, at that time of the summer, we are busy filling our freezer with the large berries. It seems that, no matter how many we pick, this is the first fruit that we run out of during the winter. Blueberries are a family favourite.
Several years ago, I picked berries for a few weeks for a commercial grower. I love to pick berries. Being in the berry patch early in the morning, with all the sounds of nature and the sounds of my own heart, soothes me, somehow.
The berries I was picking were destined for restaurant use. Therefore, the farmer wanted to ensure that each berry was perfect. After picking, the berries had to be inspected to ensure that they had not been damaged by birds or weather, and that they were not over-ripe.
Many berries were also discarded for being under-ripe. After picking, it was important to check the stem area. If a faint pink circle could be seen around the stem end, the berry was not ripe enough, and was to be discarded. It would have a slightly sour taste. Of course, I couldn't see throwing all those berries away, so I ate them! It's a wonder I didn't turn blue that year.
All of us have imperfections, like those blueberries. But God doesn't discard us. He embraces us — faults and all. Our hearts are His, and He loves each of us for who we are.
Prayer: Loving God, You know our hearts like no other. We have many faults, but You alone see the good in us. Your love warms our souls and strengthens our hearts. Embrace us in Your loving arms. Amen.