Despite the haul of bandit birds, we picked enough to freeze for our enjoyment through the year. My memories of fresh-picked blueberries resulted in planting a few bushes at the back of our garage. And guess what. The robins found them. Although these berries lacked the size and flavor of those from my childhood, the bushes still brought the enjoyment of summer’s “blue gold."
I couldn’t build a wire cage for them, so draped them instead with bird-deterring netting. The robins still found a way in, but I settled for a less-than-perfect system.
My “berry guard” system got me thinking about spiritual guards. Psalm 91 speaks of God guarding us when surrounded by evil. But the scripture I cherish most about “guarding” is from Philippians, written by a weary apostle who was “guarded” by hardened Roman soldiers as he served out an indefinite sentence for preaching Christ.
“Rejoice!” Paul wrote, likely as chains clanged from his wrists. “Be gentle! Pray about everything! Be thankful! Tell God your needs!” And then:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
One of the misconceptions about being a Christian that I had to work through in my early faith walk was that all would be hunky-dory once I crossed the line to say “Jesus is my Savior.” Some problems will fade as our values and priorities change to good. But we live in a fallen world, and problems will come. Instead of robins after blueberries, those pesky crows and vultures of “fallen-ness” will attack when we least expect.
What are we to do? Rejoice! Be gentle! Pray! Be thankful! Tell God your needs! So doing will “guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” And the sweetness of knowing the Savior—far sweeter than the plumpest blueberry, for sure!—will help feed a Christ-hungry world.