The kids scrambled out of the car. They donned their masks as we made our way to the cherry stand. We checked in with the elderly hosts, as they grinned at our kids and told them to look for the ribbons to fill our buckets with cherries.
The kids ran through the spacious orchard. Excited to stretch their growing legs and see who could reach the highest to fill their buckets first.
Quickly their giggles gave way to happy chatter as they picked handfuls of sweet delight and stuffed their cheeks with the delicious fruit. I smiled as I listened. These were the memories I will treasure.
Moving through the orchard I began to see a consistent pattern with each tree we came to. Hidden amongst the green foliage, the fruit rested. In some cases it was almost like a secret hunt.
The kids enjoyed the game, looking high and low. Occassionally squealing that they had found “The Mother Load”. We all would head to that tree and search and pick.
How like our life of faith these simple cherry trees are. Hidden among the trees are the hidden gems. The sweet people and blessings we find that God brings into our story to encourage and inspire us.
Phillipians 4:8 reminds us that “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Paul the apostle goes on to say “What you learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phillipians 4:9,ESV)
These beautiful words penned by a man who knew victories and struggles are rest for my weariness. He doesn’t remind us to fret about the future or dwell on our past mistakes. Don’t focus on just doing the next thing or obsess about what we can not have. We are given a mindset that allows us to encourage others and be encouraged.
Am I looking to Jesus for strength and hope and am I showing up with kindness and sincere love? Likewise, am I looking for the cherries? It is so easy to get cynical and forget who God has connected us to.
People full of joy and excitement, people with wisdom and outpourings of peace. Those who are sweet, kind, and caring. People who are hidden while quietly abiding. People who add a depth of love and life we have never before experienced. These are the cherries.
May we be the same.