September 06, 2021

A Drop in the Bucket

 Devotion for the Week...

I'm ba-aack! This is my first new devotion after my summer break. I really hope you enjoyed reading the reposted series about the fruit of the Spirit over the summer as much as I enjoyed re-reading each one. Now I am ready to dive back into some new writing, so let's get to it 😊

Last Monday Paul and I went out blueberry picking, which I absolutely love. I love being out in the woods, searching for the good patches of berries, tasting a few (you know, to make sure they're okay!) and filling up my buckets with berries to enjoy through the winter. I love the hollow kind of sound the first few berries make as they hit the bottom of the plastic bucket and I love when the bottom of the bucket is covered and you don't hear the sound anymore.

The buckets we take out hold about a gallon each. Compared to the bucket, one wild blueberry doesn't seem like much (they're considerably smaller than the cultivated berries you'll find in stores). It takes an hour or more of steady picking to fill the bucket and there are thousands of berries in there by the time it's full. When you start, it feels like it will take forever to fill the bucket. After a while, you notice the bottom is filled, then gradually the berries rise up higher and higher. Eventually, it gets to the point you're thinking you soon have to stop because the bucket is nearly full. And then, a few berries later, it actually is full. Whoo hoo!!

As I picked, I kept thinking about the verse in Galatians where Paul wrote, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9). This verse is about doing the good and right thing, which can be tough at times, especially when we don't see any reward or result from our work. Doing the right thing can be exhausting! Whether it's being kind in the face of rudeness, or caring for someone difficult, or giving when everyone else seems to be hoarding (whether time, money or talents, it doesn't matter), sometimes it just gets old and we're tempted to give up.

But Paul tells us to not grow weary, because there will be a harvest 'at the proper time' if we don't give up. We don't know when that time will be. We can't know how many times we'll do a good thing before the proper time comes. We probably don't even know what the 'harvest' will be. That smile you're pasting on your face and the patience you're dredging up from the depths for that always-difficult person may feel like a drop in the bucket, but there may come a day when that particular bucket is full and that person asks how you're able to always be so kind. Or maybe that person will never change, but someone else, someone who has been observing you all this time without you realizing, will be the one to ask.
God promises there will be a harvest if we keep doing good |
What makes this so hard is we can't see the bucket we're filling. We don't know if it's the size of a cereal bowl or a garbage can, and we can't see the progress we're making. Only God knows when the proper time will come for the harvest and only He knows what that harvest will be. We have just one job, which is to keep dropping the berries into the bucket (aka keep doing good). If we keep doing that and don't give up, we can trust that there will be a harvest that will be much sweeter than a freezer full of blueberries.

Picking blueberries seems to be particularly inspiring. This is now my third blueberry-inspired devotion. You can read the other two here and here.


  1. It's especially hard to keep from becoming weary when we've been praying for a LONG time for a loved one, and there's no apparent change. I have to keep reminding myself that I can't see what's happening in that person's heart...
    BUT, we've also seen incredible answers to some of those prayers too - several people have committed their lives to Christ prior to dying - PTL!

  2. Thank you. Berry picking around here is more than berries, it's a litter of puppies for free, a couple handmade potholders for sale, howdy neighbor and time with the kids who eat more than they put in the bucket. I reap a harvest of puppy kisses, sun on my head, new potholders to remind of a day well spent with family.


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