Written by April Dawn White
I tightened the apron around my waist waiting for my assignment. Mom peered through her glasses perched at the end of her nose, thumbing through the vintage Ball Canning Guide. The sheer sight of the pressure cooker intimidated me; the stainless steel pot, pressure regulator and steam vents reminded me of contraption from science lab.
Learning to can was on my list of forty new things I wanted to accomplish this year. I turned forty years old in July, and I decided to celebrate this rite of passage by trying forty new things. Canning was number 39 on my list.
In addition to canning green beans, my mom and I froze or in her words “put up” zucchini, broccoli, kale, and tomatoes.
Images of me and mom canning, freezing, and making strawberry preserves flashed through my mind as I read James 1:12:
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
My brain accidentally swapped the letters ‘r’ and ‘e’ causing me to misread the verse as “Blessed is the one who preserves under trial.”
Preserve verses persevere
Neurons fired electrical impulses in rapid succession as I pondered the oversight. Diving into God’s Word, I researched each reference to the words preserves, persevere, fruit, and harvest and found these treasures:
“The Lord preserves the faithful.” (Psalm 31:23, NIV)
“You have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is thing: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psalm 119:50, NIV)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NIV)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for in the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9, NIV)
Planting and Harvesting
Unlike the four distinct seasons in Virginia, our lives consist of a cyclical pattern of two seasons: planting and harvesting. Seeds sown in one season are in reaped in another. Our faithfulness in one season will produce fruit in another season.
Faithfulness in one season will produce a fruitful harvest. This harvest can be stored and preserved for lean season, a season of perseverance.
My parents can weather the winter season by dining on what was canned during the harvest. We too can persevere in a difficult season by dining on the faithful preserves of God’s promises stored up if we don’t give up.
~April Dawn White
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Additional verses for your recipe box:
“Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:3, NIV)
“Wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure…full of mercy and good fruit.” (James 4:17, NIV)
“We consider blessed those who have preserved.”(James 5:11, NIV)
“This is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit showing yourself to be my disciples.” (John 15:8, NIV)
“A time to plant and a time to harvest.” (Ecclesiastes 3:2, NLT)