Food For Free!

(2) 008

Just recently I returned home one evening to find my daughters in the process of making lovely mixed fruit jam. The aroma from the fruit, in addition to a delicious crumble and homemade scones were most welcoming! What amazed me most, though, was the fact that much of the fruit used was freely available in the hedgerows and fields behind our home. A short walk through the field and over a gate brings us to a quiet laneway, at the end of which lies an old derelict house with a tiny walled garden, while beyond this is a beautiful glen, overlooking the Irish Sea. It is here, in this area that fruit is available in abundance – a paradise for birdlife.

Even now, in October, the hedgerows are still heavy with blackberries, elderberries and rosehips, while an abundance of crab apples are also available. It is said that rosehip syrup reduces the pain of arthritis, while crab apples have traditionally been used to heal wounds. It is also thought that eating the natural produce from your own area is a good idea, given that this fruit etc. has had to deal with the same environmental hazards as us to survive. Much of this type of fruit contains far more vitamin C (and some also contain more of vitamins D, E and iron) than cultivated fruit. Crab apples are full of natural pectin and are therefore good when cooked with other types of fruit to make jam.

Also available in our area are wild mushrooms, while in spring, nettles full of iron can be used in “nettle champ.” I was recently thinking of how good the Lord is to provide us with such an abundance of natural (and free) food full of vitamins. It is thought that when there is an enormous crop of blackberries, this could mean that a cold winter lies ahead – and indeed this could well be true. The natural vitamin D that we receive from being in the sun has also been available to us recently – perhaps more so than in our mediocre summer. A couple of days ago I noticed a little ladybird crawling on a leaf and I truly wondered were the seasons getting all mixed up, given that I also spotted some primroses coming out one late autumn in the aforementioned quiet laneway!

And yet we are told that: “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8v22)

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen and Amen.” (Psalm 41v13)

His Word endures forever too and like the fruit which is freely available for us, it is packed full of good things for us to absorb and enjoy. What an abundance of food for the soul is freely available for all who draw near and drink from that “Well which never runs dry!”

Spiritually speaking, ‘the winter’ of this world lies ahead; already we see some terrifying signs of the end times. We have no idea what this harsh ‘winter’ may be hold for us as individuals and so we must draw ever closer to our Lord and Saviour, “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5v16)

Just as the season for the earthly fruit (which is now so plentifully available to us) will soon draw to a close, this Day of Grace and opportunity to receive the spiritual fruit of plenty will someday be no longer on offer to those who have yet not accepted it. The harsh winter of judgment will have come. It will be too late to avail of all that He once wanted to offer. But right now… it is still not too late! “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” (Ephesians 5v14)

There is a great wealth of goodness available naturally in the fruits of the hedgerows for the transient nature of these bodies of ours – but how much more is available in the spiritual sense to all who acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour – and are cleansed and used of Him to gather fruit “unto life eternal?” (John 4v36) “And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”

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