"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
We have blueberry bushes on our property. They have been pampered with a watering system, fertilizer and fencing. The fencing is to keep the four legged critters out (our dogs mostly). Dan did most of the work putting the fencing in. He even put a couple of gates into the berry patch for easy access. I suppose it wasn't necessary as the fence is only two feet tall and can be stepped over. But it looks good nevertheless. Because the gates look so good there is talk of putting in a picket fence some day.
The goal of keeping the dogs out has been accomplished only to be followed by the thieving birds. We have had an extraordinary spring. Consequently, we are about a month ahead of gardening. I have tomatoes plants that are 3 feet tall (daughter Hannah told me about this awesome fertilizers for tomatoes which, I'm sure, contributed) and my strawberries gave their best in May.
My blueberry bushes have matured to the place that I should be getting around ten pounds of berries per bush, possibly even more. I have gotten maybe one pound total. The birds have found them and have been stripping the bushes of all the beautiful blue fruit. So, on to the next quest of keeping critters out. Honestly, how did the pioneers survive all the wildlife to get any fruit at all? We have silvery streamers on stakes, netting and I've even looked at sonic wave instruments. By the time we are successful, if that ever happens, a pound of blueberries will be worth mucho dollars.
I am contemplating on putting birds in the same category as weeds. You know, part of the fall of Adam. Although I do understand that God created the birds on the fifth day and called it good. Can I say that birds are good but that, at the moment, I don't like them? They are so cute when they sit on our bird feeders eating bird seed. Hummingbirds are really my favorite and they don't eat blueberries. Why can't the other birds just eat bird seed?
We have plenty of bushes and I thought that if I had enough bushes we could share. I really don't mind feeding the birds SOME of the blueberries but the little thieves are taking them ALL! As I look on Pinterest for solutions I realize that I'm not the only one with this problem. How is it that something that God calls good be such a problem?
"cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return."
~ Genesis 3:17-19
The realization that this is not a global problem and there are much larger battles being fought is true. But at this moment feeling the angst of thieving birds I consider how the sweat on the face, the toiling to produce something good is also a battle. Reminds me of another profound battle. Since the fall of Adam we have been cursed. The thief came and with a lie produced loss and suffering. Humanity has been living with the results ever since. And yet in my struggle against thieving birds I can be extremely thankful. The God who created the world didn't leave us to wallow in the ultimate curse but sent Someone to take our place. The first gospel pronounced (proto evangalem) right after the fall of Adam was given to the woman promising her offspring to bruise the serpents head. God made a way!
"but God shows his love for us
in that while we were still sinners
Christ died for us."
~ Romans 5:8
It's always good to put life into perspective. I won't die if the blueberry crop is minuscule this year. On the other hand, life without Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is a death of the worst kind. There is no hope without Him. There is no point, no joy and certainly no eternal life to look forward to.
We are still battling against thieving birds. But I am seeing a glimmer of hope. Dan did some more research (probably not on Pinterest) and bought some plastic snakes and beach ball hanging things with big eyes. Our blueberry patch looks a bit like a circus but I am happy to report that Dan and I actually picked some blueberries tonight. However, I couldn't help think of how many of the little blue wonders escaped our picking and ended up in a bird's belly.
I had had visions of lots of blueberries so that I could invite family and friends over to pick and enjoy. I'm still going to hope for that and we will just have to see what happens. So the battle continues!
I wish it was as easy to do battle with the father of lies. At any given moment he whispers in our ear lies to confuse, disappoint and bring us down. This is what he did in the Garden. He lied about God. He lied to Eve and to Adam. His goal is to bring division between peoples but especially between you and God. As Christians we have to remember, always remember, that Jesus is bigger and stronger. He has solved our biggest problem which is life apart from God. God's promise way back in Genesis to the woman has been fulfilled in Jesus and I am a glad recipient of His kindness.
As Jesus has solved our biggest problem it is imperative that we always go to him when we hear the ugly whispers of the devil. We need to be alert and vigilant because the liar is always looking for opportunities to cause damage to the Christian.
"Be sober minded; be watchful.
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion,
seeking someone to devour.
Resist him, firm in your faith,
knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced
by your brotherhood throughout the world.
~ 1 Peter 5:8
Just as we have tools and weaponry to keep the thieving birds out of the blueberry patch so also has the Lord given us tools the guard against the thief of our souls. I don't want to give up. I hope you don't either.
*I wrote this a couple of weeks ago. The reason that I haven't posted until today was because, as always, I needed help putting pictures on. My trusty computer person (Lydia) did her magic so that you could see our circus blueberry patch. And I am happy to report that we are getting more blueberries. Yippee!