Raspberry Bush

I was given a raspberry bush for a birthday some years ago in a pleasant wooden planter with good quality compost about its roots. It never grew very much and its crop of raspberries was poor. Expecting it to curl up and die, I dug it into the chapel grounds where this ailing plant would at least be afforded Christian burial. Instead, it thrived, and produced over a hundred berries this summer. The tough clay of Newby Hill seemed to do it more good than the rich composts of the garden centre and the charming container in which it was placed.

It is often the hardest ground that gives the best crop, the roughest seas which make the best sailors and the trying times which make strong the Christian. The wise God whose child you are determined with quiet understanding which hurdles and obstacles you must climb, for He knows which muscles need exercising and which vices need chiselling.

“Poor and afflicted,” Lord, are thine,
Among the great unfit to shine;
But, though the world may think it strange,
They would not with the world exchange.

“Poor and afflicted,” yes, they are;
Their cup is filled with grief and care;
But he who saved them by his blood,
Makes every sorrow work for good.

“Poor and afflicted;” yet they sing,
For Jesus is their glorious King;
“Through sufferings perfect,” now he reigns,
And shares in all their griefs and pains.

“Poor and afflicted;” but ere long
They’ll join the bright celestial throng;
Their sufferings then will reach a close,
And heaven afford them sweet repose.

And while they walk the thorny way,
They’re often heard to sigh and say,
“Dear Saviour, come; O quickly come,
And take thy mourning pilgrims home.”

T. Kelly, Gadsby's Hymns, No 992