(Pear tree in our front yard)
We seem to have another bumper crop of pears this year! Just look at them hanging on the tree in our yard! I hope I can find a lot of people to share them with! My husband PICKED a five-gallon bucket full yesterday morning for me so I could can some pear halves.
It usually takes me more than an hour to peel five gallons of pears. They are tough skinned and hard to cut into quarters. Sometimes it makes a blister on my right hand where I hold the knife. Why do I go to so much trouble? Because we love the taste of the finished product so much!
After all the pears are peeled and cut up, I put them in a dish pan with some water and sugar and cook for a few minutes. Then it's time to put them in the clean, hot canning jars. I'd already inspected the jars to make sure there were no cracks or nicks in the rim which would keep them from sealing. After filling the jars with the pears and the hot sugar water then I must take a clean wet dish cloth and wash the sticky excess off the top before putting the lids on.
When the lids were screwed on tight, I put the jars in the pressure cooker and PROCESSED them for 8 minutes at 5 pounds of pressure. (As you can see by the condition of my pressure cooker, I've been doing this for many years!) Then removed from heat and let cool.
This morning I took the finished product from the cooker. Seven more quarts of pears that have been PRESERVED so that we can eat them later this winter ...long after all the other pears have fallen off the tree and rotted!
There are so many spiritual parallels that I could make from my day's work yesterday but I'll mention just a few. We are "picked" in several ways. First, we are chosen, or picked, by God. John 15: 16 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
Fruit needs to be to a certain stage of ripeness before we pick it. It sometimes doesn't taste as well or even preserve as well if it is picked "green". Our spirit has to come to a kind of "ripeness" also before we can be saved. It's called conviction. We must be drawn to God before we can accept Him. John 6: 44a says, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:"
After we have been picked, then we must be "processed". This process is what the Bible calls salvation. It's available to anyone...young or old, educated or illiterate, rich or poor. Romans 10: 9..."That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
When God saves us, He also seals or "preserves" us! Ephesians 1: 13 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise," No one or no thing can take us from the Hand of God once we have been sealed by salvation. God has preserved Christians for all time.....at salvation we are given eternal life (Romans 6: 23) How much more preserved could we be than for eternity?
My pray for you today is that you have been Picked...Processed...and Preserved!