As I came down my driveway this week I noticed the blackberry briars by the pond were covered in berries. My mind began to reminisce of blackberry cobbler, blackberry jelly, blackberry syrup, blackberry… Oh I’m sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, as I looked at them from the truck it appeared that there were so many ripe berries that I could easily pick a gallon after supper. That would be enough for a cobbler and two pints of jelly.
After supper reality set in as I began picking. The ripe berries I saw from the road were not as plentiful upon closer inspection. I would carefully begin picking only the best berries and then realize that there were more ripe berries just out of my reach. So I carefully moved through the thorns to the “better” location only to find that were not as many berries as I had thought. As I moved around this patch of briars looking for the best I saw the mother load of blackberries! It was right where I first began picking. I thought, How could I have missed all those perfectly ripe berries? Did they ripen after I left? I went back an stood right where I started and looked for them but I couldn’t see them until I pulled back the leaves.
You see, if you are going to get all the best berries you’re going to have to pull back some leaves and branches. Blackberries don’t move, they just stay right where God put them. The outer berries are easy to see and pick, but that’s just the beginning of the harvest. The sweetest grow in the shade.
And so it is with the Bible. The truth is right there in front of us, and much of it visible and easily accessible. How ever there is much that goes unseen because we don’t study for a fuller understanding. Much like blackberries the sweeter fruit grows in the shade of the leaves. Sometimes its not until we are reading another passage that a previous verse is brought into light.
Many people take one verse or one phrase and thank they have all God has to offer. This is just laziness seeking low hanging fruit. One passage will never fill your berry bucket up and feed you a cobbler. We must carefully study all the Bible in context. God has blessed us with a bountiful harvest, but it will not be enjoyed by the lazy.