“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?”
The Saskatoons are blooming!
Which means, of course, a risk of frost.
(If you aren’t familiar with Saskatoons, they are berries which look a lot like blueberries but have a different flavour – a delicious fruit native to the Canadian prairies.)
Pretty much every year when the Saskatoons start to bloom, there is at least one night where the temperatures plunge. I don’t know why. It just is.
Somehow in these parts, in order to produce fruit, you need to run the gauntlet. Take a big risk. Stick your neck out, so to speak, and take a chance that you may just do the impossible.
Make delicious fruit.
And if the risk of frost weren’t enough to scare the bushes away from blooming, there’s more.
There are bugs that want to sneak into those blossoms and lay eggs which will hatch out as hungry larvae just when the fruit is getting ready to pick.
And if the berries get that far, bravely escaping the frost and bugs, then there are birds that text each other when the fruit is ripe so they can descend en masse and peck a hole in each juicy berry. (Okay, birds don’t text each other, but it’s crazy how they know just when to arrive for the feast.)
It’s a wonder the Saskatoon bushes don’t revolt. Or stop doing their thing altogether. I mean – seriously. How discouraging.
It reminds me that anything worth doing involves risk. There is no guarantee that the good we aim to do will be received in the way it was intended, let alone welcomed. Good results doesn’t always follow good choices. Sometimes we get hurt when we do the right thing. Sometimes bad things happen to us even when we were sitting the i’s and crossing the t’s and keeping our noses clean.
It’s enough to make you want to give up.
But if we stop trying, we will never produce any fruit.
Not every growing season is stellar for Saskatoons. There are many years where they are good. A few that they are terrible. And some years they absolutely outdo themselves and produce a bumper crop.
You won’t always get the results you want, even when you are careful to obey all of God’s teachings.
But don’t give up!
Hard times come and go. Hard seasons come and go. But God’s love remains – unstoppable, unruffable, immeasurable, unceasing.
The risk of frost forecast tonight is – well, discouraging. So is the news. There are risks out there, for sure. You and I aren’t guaranteed an easy frost-free existence.
But we are guaranteed God’s presence to walk through the risks with us.
Cling to this promise with me?
Father, there is so much potential for hurt out there! Help us to recognize when we should push on, and how to lean into Your strength when the ‘frosts’ in life threaten to steal our potential and rob our joy. Amen.