I went to a vineyard today. It wasn’t for a wine tasting or a tour. I was there for a women’s workshop called “Crazy Believe”.
After the workshop was over, I went out to the fields to take some photos. As I took photos, I was quietly singing the song that I’ve been singing for the past week. That’s when I stopped and smiled with a realization… Do you know why? Well, I was singing the song “New Wine”…. “In the crushing, in the pressing, You are making new wine… In the soil I now surrender, you are breaking new ground.” And there I was…in a vineyard! I was there with a beautiful visual of this song I’ve been singing because after all, wine begins with grapes. Teeny tiny grapes.
All around me were these low to the ground vines with tiny grapes amidst a maze of lines and poles. The vineyard was brimming with potential…and the teeny tiny grapes growing on old wood vines were a sign that there was great potential for a good harvest. Signs of life and potential were everywhere.
The vines were now low to the ground. But all around were lines higher and higher and higher…like steps or milestone markers for these little vines to reach toward.
There were some old remnants of vines on the higher lines that served as reminders that yes, other vines had grown to the heights in previous seasons. And there were a few vines that were reaching the lower lines…making their way upward.
As I took the photos and hummed this song about God making ‘new wine’, I couldn’t help but think about what the speaker, Nelsa Feaster, was speaking on at the workshop. She was talking about this “Crazy Believe” idea to really go for dreams and use the gifts we’ve been given. To live, thrive, not just survive and muddle through.
As I walked around that field I thought about how things were in place to help these little grapes to become big grapes that would one day make new wine. There was an irrigation system. There was scaffolding. Not just scaffolding on a top level. There were lines in place at intervals…like steps to reach. They couldn’t jump to the top line without taking the step to reach for that first interval. And that line would provide stability for being able to reach the higher levels.
I’m sure that grapes could grow without the systems in place. I’m sure there’d be some harvest. But to have a bountiful harvest, there needed to be things in place.
I’m thinking that it’s not so much different for us.
In order to thrive and use our gifts, there need to be some things in place. I mean, of course, we can just get by day by day. But to thrive, to produce, to bear fruit and have a bountiful harvest, there need to be some things intentionally put in place. In the same way that these grape vines had lower levels to reach first, oftentimes the heights are reached by moving up one level at a time, one step at a time.
Nelsa had us set up some scaffolds for ourselves as well. In her own fun and dynamic way, she had us kind of put some lines in place….some things to reach for. Just like those vines were reaching, reaching, reaching in order to grow and spread and produce a bountiful harvest, well, we need direction and markers as well if we are to have a bountiful harvest…and to produce and ‘bear fruit’ that positively impacts and refreshes those around us. In the same way that grapes need poles and lines, we need parameters and goals and direction.
Passionate pursuits are great. Dreams are so important. Using our gifts is crucial. But here’s the thing. Am I doing anything that will impact for the good and last? I mean, is it just dust to dust? Nope. I don’t think so. Not when God is in the mix. When He breathes His life into things, everything changes. I think we, like those grapevines, all have times of just brimming with potential…and what we do, or do not do will nurture that potential to bear fruit…or not. There are seasons of growth and seasons of waiting, but it’s important to cater to the season with the end result of bearing fruit in mind.
I love the verses in John 15 that talk about the vine. Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” A branch cut off from the vine just has no way of producing fruit that lasts. And that’s what it’s talking about. Not just fruit, but fruit that lasts. Later on in the chapter Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”
And maybe that’s the key. Maybe so. Loving others out of the love we’ve received. Maybe the greatest fertilizer ever to bearing fruit and having a bountiful harvest…is Love. Loving others out of the Love that we’ve received. “We love because He first loved us…” And then maybe using our gifts and reaching our potential doesn’t become about us. Vines reach outward and upward, not inward and downward. That’s important. Maybe that’s an important point for us as well.
This vineyard has amazing potential for bounty. I’m thinking so do we. I love how John 15 ends with Jesus telling us to ask. “Whatever”. And that He wants to give. He is not a God of scarcity. He is all-powerful and holds all the resources we could ever imagine in His hand. It is ours to ask Him to help us ‘bear fruit’. It is ours to reach outward and upward and have scaffolds in place to help assure growth. One more visual for you…Rich soil produces better fruit. Praying our hearts would be like soil that just soaks up the Love of God.(Am thinking that’s probably what abiding looks like…) I can’t help but think that the overflow will be fruit…a bountiful harvest of fruit. Fruit that lasts… kind of like grapes turned to new wine.
“In the soil I now surrender, you are breaking new ground.”
If you’d like to learn more about Nelsa Feaster and her “Crazy Believe” podcasts, workshops, etc, just let me know! She is on Facebook as Nelsa Webber Feaster and her podcasts can be found at Anchor. Here’s a link to one of her podcasts. https://anchor.fm/nelsa-feaster/episodes/Crazy-Believe-Is-Born-e10un2