Every two or three days I've looked at our ancient grape vine. Between the weather and birds, and perhaps other creatures, most years very few grapes remain on the vines long enough to ripen for jam. Nutrients travel through the vine to the fruit, but lots of other factors play a role in determining whether there will be fully developed grapes to harvest.
More and more I'm realizing I no longer fit in the category of the young vines. For many years my roots have been nourished with excellent teaching, the support of good fellowship, time for personal study and prayer. I was planted in good soil and received great care from the time I accepted Christ as Lord. To produce healthy life-giving fruit is my sincere desire.
In spite of all I have going for me, many times when I check on the harvest it is sparse. I am so thankful that Father God continues to be an incredibly patient vinedresser. The children of Israel spent forty years getting into the land they were promised. For forty-two years I've been traveling and I am grateful for the growth I've experienced, but every so often when a spurt does occur, I just shake my head realizing: How many times have I read that verse? How many times have I heard that truth explained? and finally, I get it!
I've learned at last that if I claim a promise and do not see the evidence of the answer in the natural realm, the answer is fulfilled in the spiritual realm first. It is a spiritual reality and will manifest in the physical realm as I continue in faith without wavering. This simple lesson is huge for me. I trust, as I apply it and other truths I come to understand, people who come along to check this vine will find tasty fruit to harvest.