The summer beckons everyone outside to enjoy the gorgeous scenery of brilliant rays and azure skies. After the winter darkness and cold that has lasted almost nine months, no one wants the walls and enclosures. The freedom of long four wheeler rides, boating on the river, even swimming, for the brave, has an intoxication all its own. The tundra is covered in berries—salmonberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and more– that hungry bears and people alike forage in. The tantalizing flavors of the berries are enjoyed both at picking and later on in the harsh, bitter cold winter. By harvesting now, during the potlucks later and for special occasions, berries will be served in abundance and with great pleasure. So even though it is work, it yields goodness and joy.
One is usually bent over or sometimes sits down on the squishy ground to pick the berries because the bushes do not grow tall. Into the bucket, one by one, or sometimes in a small cluster, berries are gathered by hand or berry comb. The berries are small, even when they are ripe. Pop one into your mouth and savor the flavor.
Picking berries is a picture of humility. All the goodness and sweetness is ripe and ready for the taking but one must go low to the ground to appreciate finding them. Often in life, those who are proud miss the satisfaction of simple things. They are busy looking from the vantage point of height and superiority that they do not see their need for God. They are blind to their ignorance and arrogance. All around them are evidences of the Lord’s provision, yet they stubbornly cling to their own devices and self-made dreams and desires.
Their hearts are a barren wasteland that stretches for miles on end as the years pass and they move further and further away from God and deeper and deeper into pride. Yet at their feet, like the berries on the tundra, are all the answers they are searching for. They need only bend down in humility and recognize that in comparison to the Lord, they are small and weak. It is here in the place of humility where they can see the goodness of God and His wonderful love for them.
In humility, they will find sweetness in life, abundance of joy, plenty to satisfy and then they will also discover the people around them who are also walking with God because those people have found the secret of success which is humility, obedience and surrender to Jesus Christ. They are not worried about the future or the economy or the calamities that will come, for in the place of peace and surrender, they can see the vastness of the tundra of life spread before them with unending miles of provision, there for the taking, freely, if one is but humble enough to recognize it. Have you learned the lesson of the berries? Or are you still walking proud and defiant against the Loving God of the Universe?