Either way, that was us on Saturday. Our family, with the exception of two for various reasons, headed to the hills of West Virginia where I grew up. To a tiny little town called “Richwood.” Home of approx. 2,000, probably including the “suburbs.”

We visited family, staying with my dad, affectionately known as “Papaw Duck.” Had a wonderful time, doing activities that suburban folks don’t often receive the pleasure of doing.

But one of my favorite things to do, the reason I chose this time of year to visit there: the wild blackberries are ripe.

Now let me explain that blackberry pickin’ is not for the faint of heart, by any means.

You have to dress for the occasion, covering all skin that you would like to keep.

You have to prepare by taking your buckets, baskets, and bags.

You have to enjoy weeding through thorns, thistles, and briars… because your eye is on the goal of the fresh, juicy blackberries.

You have to love the glory of the fruit more than hate the battle of obtaining it.

In fact, a good portion of the time I was pickin’, I was thinking about how much blackberry picking is like the Christian life.

You need to put on the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6:11)

You need to be prepared to answer those who ask of the reason of your hope. ( I Peter 3:15)

You need to learn to enjoy the trials, because they that sow in tears shall reap in joy. (Psalm 126:5)

You need to love the end reward more than the battles Christians face:

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

I don’t know your current situation, circumstance, or trial, but I encourage you to cling to the Word…

and I’ll post a picture of the blackberry pie to help you remember, just as soon as I get the chance to bake it!

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