Wine and Trials


What a wonderful wedding weekend! I’ve been turning over and over in my mind what the father of the groom shared at our table during the rehearsal dinner Friday night. He and his wife live in wine country up in Northern California. Wine is their thing and not only do they enjoy it, they take classes to continue to grow their knowledge and appreciation of all things wine related. Here is something I learned over a sumptuous dinner accompanied by a lovely white wine that I still don’t know how to pronounce:

The best wine comes from grapes that experience an especially difficult season, be it drought or flooding. The drastic change in weather unleashes something in the grapes that produces an exceptional wine.

The parallels to life from this example are too significant to pass by. I know people who have walked through difficult seasons–with rain that doesn’t seem to end, or dryness and heat that cracks the earth. Some become bitter and resentful and die on the inside.

But others who chose to

sink their roots deep into God’s Word,

show up even after reaching the end of their physical limitations and emotional capacities,

walk through, rather than run away or numb away disappointment, grief, and despair,

stay abiding in the Vine (John 15) even when the environment is extreme,

end up displaying a beauty that emanates from places as deep as they have needed to go.

They become the exceptional wine that is set apart in flavor and quality. And they stand out and are admired and appreciated for their character. This character is forged through difficulty, discipline and not giving up when surrounding circumstances threaten to take away life.

I also learned up in wine country there are grapevines over 125 years old. They no longer need to be watered. The root system runs 20-30 feet underground. The grapes produced from these vines are faithful, dependable, certain. And year after year the wine from these grapes is consistently exceptional.

Isn’t that a great picture of what we can become?