Drought and Vineyards

Another year of drought has brought noticeable changes in our area.  The reservoirs are drying up.  Fires are raging. Wildlife suffers.  Without strength-restoring water, the flowering plum trees are dying because they no longer have the immunity to fight off the beetles. Many roadside redwoods are brown skeletons.  Lawns are dead because “brown is the new green” in California.   I’ve wondered about all the vintners in our area, the thousands of grape vines on hill and dale.   

I met a lady the other day whose family owns a vineyard.  I asked how they’re managing with the drought.  They have a drip system on some of their vines, but most are “dry-grow” vines.  No water other than what God provides. Most vineyards need thousands of gallons of water so the vines will produce plump grapes full of juice.  The grapes from these vineyards are cheaper by the ton and make the common wines, but dry-grown grapes are much smaller and denser. These grapes are far more valuable because they make the finer, flavor-rich, more expensive wines. 

What a spiritual lesson!  We human beings suffer trials and hardship in our lives, but when we fully trust in the Lord and depend on His provision and His strength, when we endure through faith, God restores us and is ever-present.  He holds us safely in His nail-scared hands.

So many credit the drought to global warming, but God is sovereign.  There are many places in scripture where God shuts off the rain in order to awaken His people to their sin and call them to repentance.  We can read in 1 Kings 8 King Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the Temple, and in 1 Kings 9 God’s warning to Solomon as well.  God called the prophets to cry out warnings.  Sin always brings consequences.  Come to ME and be saved, is always God’s message.  He loves us.  He is patient.  His love is unfailing and never ending.  That does not mean He will let us get away with sin.  After all, He is HOLY.  HE is the Creator.  He sent Jesus to die for our sins and make a way for us to have a personal relationship with Him.  Yes, we have grace.  But grace is not cheap.  It came at the cost of God’s only begotten Son’s blood, sweat and tears, enduring torture at human hands, the agony on the cross, His death.  His resurrection proves HE is Almighty God. 

There is another drought that is far more dangerous than lack of water, and we are seeing it spread across our country.  The prophet Amos was called by God to speak of it.  When a nation refuses to listen, there comes a drought, a famine on the land, not for bread and water, but for hearing the words of the Lord.  We are seeing a systematic removal of God’s Word from schools, government institutions, and public forums.  Our culture tolerates all manner of sin, even endorses and protects it.  Like Israel in the time of their judges:  the love and instructions of God are rejected, and everyone does what is right in their own eyes.  To their own peril. 

The drought is here.  I choose to believe this is a time for me to evaluate my life and pray what King David did:  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” 

The water that is most important for life is the living water that comes only from God through Jesus Christ.