Children's Corner - "Where's the Fruit?"
Written By: Jim Swanson | Posted: Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Jason and Julie Jensen live in a lovely little community, well, a lot like yours. They find that being twins has its good points and its bad points. But like other wise boys and girls, they love to learn more about God from the Bible, and from the wonderful creation He has made. Just now we find Mr. Jensen arriving home from work.
"Hi. I'm home. Hmmm. Something sure smells good!" As Mr. Jensen was laying his dinner bucket on the counter, Julie burst through the door.
"Daddy, look what I did today! I picked all these blueberries jut this afternoon!" Julie beamed with pride, holding a large bucket as high as she could.
"Wow! Where did you get so many?" her dad asked, giving her a big hug.
"Over in Mr. Brown's field. He said we could come over and pick as many as we want. Jason got even more than me. It was hard work but it was worth it!" Just then Jason strolled into the kitchen.
"Oh, hi, Dad. Did you see all the blueberries we picked today?" His blue teeth announced that he had snacked on a few in the field.
"I sure did. I'm proud of you two for working so hard to get these for the family. Maybe Mom will fix us some with ice cream for dessert. We can top it off with a spoonful or two of blueberries. What do you say?" Julie groaned. "That would sound better if I hadn't eaten so many while I was picking. But I think I have room for the ice cream part."
"No doubt." her dad said with a grin, "knowing how much you like ice cream."
Jason grew more serious. "You know, Dad, I enjoyed being out in the field today because it made me think about how good God is. It is so beautiful up on the hill, looking over the lake. I sat there for a while thinking about how God provides all our needs . . . like these blueberries."
Mr. Jensen squeezed his shoulder. "That's good thinking, Son. It makes good things even more special when we remember that God is the one who gave them to us. You know, there is another lesson in these berries, too."
"Oh? What's that, Dad?" Jason asked, popping a few more blueberries into his mouth.
"Do you remember in the Spring when the blossoms were out? Well, each blueberry here represents one flower that was pollinated properly."
"Pollinated?" they both asked in unison.
"You see, pollen from the stamen of the flower must get to the pistil of another flower in order for it to develop a fruit. The pistil is the stick-like structure in the middle, and the stamens are the parts that surround the pistil and look like long wires with knobs on top."
"But how does the pollen hit such a tiny target?" Jason questioned. "Does the wind carry it?"
"Sometimes the wind does the job, as with corn, but not often. Usually God uses insects such as bees, wasps, and flies to pollinate the flowers. When a bee goes into a flower to get the nectar, it rubs against the stamen. The pollen that sticks to his body is then rubbed off on the pistil of another flower when it enters for nectar. So, while the bee is getting nectar to make honey, he is kind of 'accidentally' pollinating the blossoms so that we can later enjoy the fruit."
"Wow!" Julie responded. "That means that a bee or something had to go into this many flowers to make all these blueberries. They really had to work hard!"
"That's right, " her dad affirmed with a nod. "There is no fruit without something carrying the pollen to the right place. You know, God wants to bear fruit in our lives too. It says in James, 'the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.' God uses pastors, teachers, and even you and me to spread His Word. As we are faithful to listen to the Pastor and Sunday School teacher, we are letting God put His Word in our hearts, just as bees do with pollen. Then God can bear fruit like purity,
love, peace, kindness - things like that in our lives. And as we share what we've learned, we are part of God's plan to produce His spiritual fruit, including salvation, in others."
"I guess I don't always listen the way I should in church, " Julie confessed.
"Well, next Sunday, think of your heart as being like a blueberry blossom. If you want God to make you a better person, you must let His Word, the Bible, get into it first."
"And obey it too, right Dad?" Jason added.
"Absolutely! Well, what say we wash up. Looks like Mother has supper about ready. I'm anxious to try some of those blueberries of yours!"
James Swanson, M.Div., M.R.E., is the Director of the Eau Claire Bible Training School and is the author of Some Aspects of Sowing and Reaping. He and his wife Ruby have seven children, sixteen grandchildren and live in Eau Claire.