The Problem With Beautifully Rounded Grapes.

Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, 

streams of living water will flow from within him. 

John 7:38

How wonderful to be filled with streams of God’s living water. Water gives life. Without it, I die. You die. We all die.

The problem comes when I, a Believer, filled beyond the brim with said streams, stop short of the action verb.

Here, a quick Grammar 101:

Streams (noun)… do what? They FLOW (action verb).

Ah.

There’s nothing quite like stagnant water which becomes not only a breeding ground for bacteria, parasites, and mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases, but a cess pit of animal waste. Stagnant water blesses no one, harms those who consume it.

The streams of living water poured into me was given for the purpose of expenditure. That which I have received from God must flow out, the flood gates raised for the sake of others, not lull me to sleep with a sweet babbling melody. 

Mary of Bethany understood this well. She broke an alabaster jar of costly perfume, poured all of it out to bless Jesus while the disciples looked on with horror at the ‘waste’ (Matthew 26:6-8, Mark 14:3-4). Her devotion to Jesus was extravagant. The streams of living water Jesus poured into her were sweetly poured right back out.

What if I came upon a vine dresser in his vineyard plucking beautifully rounded grapes off his vine and freaked, fearful he’d crush those plump beauties and squeeze out the juice.

Yes. That’s the point.

God spilt (to death) the blood of His one and only Son for me. Yet, there are times when I honestly prefer to stay a plump, beautifully rounded grape, withholding the sweetness of the Gospel in a world that is in desperate need of refreshment and dying of thirst. But it’s not my purpose to merely be a reservoir for His streams of living water or a vine on which His Gospel grapes hang indefinitely.

It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us. O. Chambers

Today’s culture emphasizes self-realization with an insatiable appetite for SELF (Lord, have mercy, the selfies taken in the bleachers at a ball game!) and self-preservation, doing the thing that makes a person happy. 

Jesus taught the opposite. Nothing new here.

My beautifully rounded, abundant blessings weren’t meant merely for my own enjoyment. When I choose to take a cautious peek around, the needs of my family, my community, and the world comes into clear view. They are a thirsty lot. And so am I. And on countless occasions, I’ve been refreshed by fellow beautifully rounded grapes who’ve generously squeezed sweetness out that I might be refreshed and encouraged in times of need and not lose hope.

So what’s the word for a beautifully rounded grape?

I could give money. Because news flash my pennies are not my pennies.

I could give time. Because news flash my time is God’s free gift, meant to be shared with others.

I could (and should) give prayer, expending it generously, continually (I Thessalonians 5:17), without giving up (Luke 18:1).

Cease striving for satisfaction (you beautifully rounded grape) and spill the thing out. O. Chambers.

It’s one thing to say a girl is plump (don’t ever), but may I never take on the likes of a stubborn, beautifully rounded grape, hanging happily on a vine, refusing to be plucked and squeezed.

What about you? Plump with blessings or pretty well spent? 

6 Comments

  1. Margaret Eomurian says:

    Beautiful message!

  2. Love the way you carry the grapes analogy all the way through. And such a good message about letting Him squeeze us. Next time a grape pops in my mouth, I’m sure to think of this.

    Grapes who stubbornly cling to the vine and refuse to be squeezed turn into raisins, loosing their juiciness anyway. Hmm…

  3. Bill Albers says:

    More beautiful words flowing from the mind of an accomplished author.

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