A Basketful of Blessings

Bible Book: Psalms  68 : 19
Subject: Blessings; God, Blessings Of; Blessings, Unexpected

Philip Satsuma of Osaka, Japan is credited with developing the first "Satsuma" in 1832. He grafted a branch of a tangerine tree to a mandarin orange tree and used cuttings from a kumquat plant.

According to historians the spouse of a member of the US Embassy from the Satsuma Province in Kyushu, Japan brought "mikan", also known as Satsumas, to the United States in 1876. The first Satsuma arrived in Alabama in 1878.

This fruit once grew in abundance in the area once known as "Fig Tree Island," on the Pace Orange Orchard. The Satsuma Orange Groves and Pecan Company in the early 1900's distributed this delicious fruit in a town that took the name "Satsuma" in 1915.

Ironically, it was almost four years after moving from a town named for the Satsuma that I saw a tree laden with Satsumas in my yard. I understand that after several years of cold weather and citrus canker the delicate trees almost disappeared from the landscape of Satsuma, Alabama.

Early Thursday morning, December 7, 2006, as we were making final preparations for a trip, my wife, Sharon, discovered something in the garden. We were in the process of protecting the sprinkler system. When a hard freeze is expected those in the news media encourage you to protect the pets, plants, pipes and people from the effects of extreme cold.

Sharon excitedly exclaimed, "Look!" I hurriedly made my way in her direction. She quickly pointed out a Satsuma tree. This neglected tree was loaded with luscious fruit ready to pick and eat. We quickly picked a basket full of this bounty.

I. Unexpected Blessings

As I reflected on the situation, I realized, as with many blessings, it was totally unexpected. This windfall is just another illustration of the words of the psalmist who writes, "Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!" (Psalm 68:19)

II. Undeserved Blessings

Also, my mind further considered that with all blessings and benefits from the Lord, it was absolutely

undeserved. We did not plant the tree, we did not tend the tree, we did not even water the tree, but it yielded its bounty nonetheless. Again, with the psalmist we must confess, "What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?" (Psalm 116:12)

III. Unclaimed Blessings

If Sharon had not used her sharp eye to discover this blessing it would have been regrettably unclaimed. As we ate the cool fruit fresh from the tree, I was reminded of the words of the psalmist, "Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits . . . Who satisfies your mouth with good things. . ." (Psalm 103:1, 2,5a)

How many blessings remain unclaimed? Like Ali Hafed in Russell H. Conwell's classic titled Acres of Diamonds, many are seeking for blessings all over the world, while failing to look in their own back yard.


It is wonderful to receive the blessings that come from God, the Father, to all. For example, "He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45b). However, the blessing of salvation referred to in Psalm 68:19 is the greatest blessing, bar none. May we exclaim in the words of Psalm 18:46, "The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted." "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).