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Poor soil = superior wine

I travel to many places that produce exceptional wine—-especially France, Italy, Spain and parts of South American. Wine production in the USA is growing and especially in our state—-North Carolina. The name of our ministry and camp is “The Vineyard”— we’ve grown grapes here since we’ve been here.

But as I have learned more about vines and grapes the common remark I keep hearing by oenophiles, is that the best wine comes from the poorest soil.  In fact, some of the best wine in the world is produced from some of the poorest quality soil imaginable.

It’s been explained to me that if you plant vines next to a river in very healthy soil, the vines develop what it is called 'lazy grape syndrome'. They soak up all the water to grow their leaves and shoots, and although the grapes look plump, juicy and delicious, the real truth is they're just oversaturated with water.  The grapes are okay for eating, but not the best for making jellies, jams, preserves or wine.

So why does poor soil create some of the best wine? Instead of putting their focus into vibrant leaves and shoots, they push their roots deep into the ground in search for more nutrients and water. The rest of their energy goes straight into the grapes.When planted in poor quality soil, a vine is forced to dig its roots deeper into the soil looking for what it needs to produce grapes.

Point: We don’t need to be spoiled by God and we should not live for His blessings.  Instead we need to be pushing our spiritual roots deeper into seeking what God, and God alone, can give us.  Don’t think that because you are not of a super IQ, or born into wealth, or from the right ethnicity, nation or gender that God can’t use you!  Are you poor—-you’re blessed according to Jesus! Yours is the “kingdom of God”—-i.e. everything is yours!  

Why are those of us “poor” blessed? Because we realize our poverty and look to God to fill us up!  We can’t afford to be lazy—we have to work for all that we have and we have to sink our roots deep into Him! He is our strength, our hope and our vision. I pity those who have everything; those born into great riches and those of stellar intelligence or physical prowess—-things come easy for them just like the grapevine planted in rich soil by a mighty stream!  Jesus spoke about the great difficulty those of wealth would have in entering into heaven.

But those of us who have been required to struggle, dig down deep, and endure drought, poor soil and tough seasons are able to produce fruit that is of the highest quality to Him.

Suffering and “doing without” brings this about—-not His abundant blessings, being born with a silver spoon in your mouth or being of the “right” race (whatever that might mean to you), or the preferred gender, high intelligence or  of a “superior” nationality!  Those of us born in poor soil need to stop whining about our circumstances and start producing unrivaled wine.

God has called us to be a part of His vine and produce good fruit. We’re not expected to complain about the soil, location or irrigation, but rather to dig deep into the soil and seek Him.

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