Friends you are in for a treat today. I will admit I have been tired and busy and a little uninspired this past week….I guess I needed a break. But my dear dreamer friend Christine, who is so much like me it is scary ;), has graciously written a gem of a piece, straight from her heart, to share here. I know that you will be blessed by her writing and hope that you hop on over to her blog Living Joel 2:25, and subscribe to her blog…you won’t regret it!
You know those moments when you hear something and it’s like an arrow has pierced your heart? You know for certain it was meant for you? A sort-of tunnel vision forms…and it’s as if God were whispering directly to you, “Listen closely sweet child, I’ve written this for you.”
The Bible study I attend went through an awesome book by Margaret Feinberg, called Scouting the Divine – Searching for God in Wine, Wool and Wild Honey. In it, the author followed a modern-day beekeeper, shepherd, and vintner, all in an attempt to better understand the references made in the Bible.
It was incredible and my eyes will never fly quickly over those references again. My favorite part was the weekly video that went along with it. One in particular, which spoke of what it takes to actually grow a grape vine.
It takes time. Lots of time. It’s a good fifteen years after a vine is planted until it finally produces grapes of a decent quality. In other words, winemakers know they won’t see a return on their investment for quite awhile.
And it takes the right soil. No surprise there. It’s not like every piece of ground can grow grapes. Until she mentioned what the right soil was…
Hard, rocky soil.
Yes. You heard correctly. Rocky soil is the best. The grapes grow best in what would seem to be the worst type of soil. As a matter of fact, if it is too clear, people have been known to actually bury rocks in their vineyards, in order to create a proper soil for growth.
When I heard that, it was as if the large sanctuary that we were sitting in, suddenly faded away and it was only Margaret and I. (That is, of course, if I had a friend named Margaret, who studied with vintners and published books and taped Bible studies and lived in my town and sat with me…but whatever…)
Anyway, Margaret went on to explain it’s the same with us. It’s the rocks in our soil that allow for the best growth.
All those years I’ve been looking at the rocks in my life, some big, some small, some strewn across the surface, some buried down deep, and wondering, “What good could ever come from this horrible ground?”
I should have just been saying, “Thank you, God.”
“Thank you God for all the lessons my missteps have brought.”
“Thank you God for the beauty of brokenness.”
“Thank you God for the boulders, in every shape and size.”
“Thank you, Jesus, that even when I was so awash in grief, and unaware of your presence, you never left my side. Not once.”
Little by little, I am seeing His plan revealed and I can’t believe my eyes. All He can do with even the most rocky soil. All that He can weave together for good.
There have been times my soil has felt more like unyielding bedrock, especially during the dark times I choose to take the direction of my life in my own hands. I have wasted so much time and energy struggling against the rocks – the rocks that make up my history. I now know even the things that brought such crushing pain, I didn’t think I would survive, will be used by the Master Vintner in the creation of His fine vintage.
The vintage of my life.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” John 15:1 (NIV)
Christine has a heart for broken women who hide it well. Women who find it impossible to believe God has a calling for them. Personally touched by such things as divorce, miscarriage, sickness and alcoholism, she has walked a pain-filled road and believes the places her own heart has broken, are the places she can best help others. Her life verse is Joel 2:25, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…” Christine is married to Mr. Wright and has four children, ages 16, 14, 7 and 3, which means having a child in high school, middle, elementary and preschool, all at the same time! She loves writing, pants with crazy prints, a really good nap, walking the beach at early morning, and donuts. Lots of donuts. Christine blogs at www.livingjoel225.com.