Revisiting: I Did Not Sign Up for This! 

This has been a 'grape press' kind of week. This devotional came to mind and I'm not sure I could say it any better now than I did then.  Even though it is a repeat from earlier this year, I pray it can speak to you if this day (week?  month?  year?) is a day when the pressure from life is intense.

"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills. I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.  (Amos 9:13-14 NIV)

Have you ever seen a grape press?  I hadn’t until I looked one up on google.  What prompted me to look?  No, I’m not considering making wine.  I was thinking about God and our trials.  I have heard our trials compared to a grape press, yet never fully understood it until I looked at a picture of one.

              Romans 15:4

That poor little grape!  It starts out so round and frosty and full.   After it is plucked from the vine, it has several potential destinations.  It could be a garnish for someone’s salad.  A delightful summer’s day treat.  Or it could be destined for greater things.  If one were to imagine that a grape had thoughts, one could readily see how confused that poor little grape would be when the pressure starts.  At first, it is not too bad.  Just close quarters with its fellow grapes.  But soon, the pressure intensifies.  I would think, that if it were possible, the grape might opt out at this point.

“Nope. This is not for me.  I did not sign up for this.  I did not bloom and grow so sweetly in the warm sun to be cooped up in here.”

More and more pressure is applied.  The juice begins to flow.  And still more and more pressure comes.   “Stop!  Stop!” the grape cries out.  “That is enough, I cannot possibly handle more.”  Yet, more there is. Every drop that can possibly be used is squeezed out under immense pressure.  The skin and seeds are discarded.  Something brand new has been created.

It takes pressure, time, and skill to produce the finest wines.  The winemaker must know just exactly what he is doing.  He knows that the grape must lose it’s old identity in order to be changed.  Only the best remains. 

Just food for thought.

Father God, Though we, as grapes in a wine press, sometimes feel the immense pressure of losing “everything” we once thought ourselves to be, thank you that you know exactly what you are doing and where the pressure needs to be applied so that we can be a brand new creation in your eyes!  Amen and Amen.  


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