Lately I keep finding myself in the book Song of Solomon, a sensual love story between the Shulammite woman and King Solomon. It beautifully paints a picture of the love Christ has for His bride. I have been meditating on chapter 2 verse 15.
Catch the foxes for us, those little foxes that menace the vineyards, For our vineyards are so vulnerable when they are in full bloom. (The Voice Bible)
This is the second year I have watched our peach tree bloom and produce the most delectable fruit. Last year we lost most of the harvest due to pests but this year I insisted with Roy that we be vigilant so as to not lose another crop. I have plans for those peaches! So we harvested the fruit slightly before they were fully ripe and let them finish maturing inside the house. Otherwise once ripe they would have been picked off one by one thanks to the wild animals. The result? Peach butter to smother my breakfast biscuits. (Recipe below. You’re welcome!)
When God brought my attention to the passage about little foxes spoiling the vineyard I felt I could completely relate to the Shulammite woman! In fact if the love story had been written by Okies it may have read more like this:
Catch the possums for us, those little coons and squirrels that menace our peach tree, for our tree is so vulnerable when the peaches are ripe on the branches.
Fruit is the excess energy a healthy tree or vine produces. Just as we deeply root ourselves in Christ, drawing nutrients from the soil of His Word, we will produce desirable fruit. In the days of the Shulammite woman in Israel vineyards produced wine and wine has always been symbolic of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Galatians 5:22, 23 (the Voice Bible)
As I meditate on these passages I have asked the question: what possums are stealing my peaches? What coons are devouring my peace or gentleness? And I ask my Lover-King to show me that I may produce in abundance and protect the tastiest fruit.
We harvested about 50 pounds of peaches off that generous tree. Roy took over the tedious task of blanching and peeling the skin and removing the stone. But I got to make the peach butter!
Purée about 12-15 pounds of ripe peaches and pour into a stockpot or crockpot.
3 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar (more or less for your taste)
Sprinkle of salt
Simmer until reduced (about 1 hour) or let the crockpot work away at it for 8 hours roughly.
I canned mine in jars to enjoy through the winter months. It will be a tasty reminder of summer days.
So mind your peaches! Be vigilant to not let wild things devour your fruit. Let your kindheartedness be plentiful and sweet.