Three years ago, when we first moved to South Carolina the Lord blessed us with an unexpected kindness. It has developed into a yearly tradition now and today is our annual event….I have pulled my post from 3 years ago to introduce you to our fun.
The Lord gave us such a huge blessing this past Sat. First, a little background. As we drive into town, there is a really pretty shortcut down a picturesque road that has been special to us since we found it. On this road there is a hundred acre vineyard that is absolutely beautiful. Acres and acres of grape vines in neat and orderly rows.
There are several beautiful houses within this vineyard, and I had my little fairytale story of who lived in these homes. We always wondered what the true story was of this poetic place.
This past Saturday our dear friends were visiting us. We were heading into town to show them our lovely downtown area. As we passed by this restful spot we saw that it was harvest time for the vineyard. There were a few people on the side of the road, so we decided to roll down our windows to inquire as to their history? As soon as we stopped this dear woman says, “Are you in a hurry?” After we excitedly told her we were not, she said “Just pull your car right up here into the driveway”.
After we all piled out of the van, these two women instantly became treating us as though they had known us for years. The ladies were neighbors and each owned part of the vineyard. Mrs. C told the children to all pile onto her golf cart and began driving them all around. Remember, our friends were here, so that was 10 children! Of course, they were delighted, and hurried to comply.
She then went in and got the children all buckets and bags and told them to pick muskadines to their hearts content. The big machinery was chugging away this whole time, harvesting these juicy delights.
As we spoke further with the woman and her husband we learned that these grapes were harvested for Duplin Winery (the largest winery in the south) and that this 100 acre vineyard was the largest in both the Carolinas. Their portion of the propery (there are five divisions of the acreage) belonged to her husbands family from the 1700s. Mrs C. does geneologies, and in researching her husband’s family, they went looking for the land. As they drove up and found the historic spot, there was a for sale sign on the exact place! Of course, they bought it, restored the neglected vineyard (Which has been there 30 years), and made it their home. How is that for the Lord’s providence?
Mrs C. spoke of how this was the Lord’s vineyard and she wanted to give her first fruits to Him, thus she opened her home to us in the most beautiful way. Her openness with us, really defined the term southern hospitality! What an extra special gift from the Lord to us that stop was!
There are so many references in the scriptures the the vineyards. It would be so good to reflect on them in our hearts.
We are the Lord’s vineyard….
1Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
2And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
3And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
4What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
What could have been done more for us by the Lord? Yet, we bring forth wild grapes. Of ourselves there would be no hope for our vineyards are trodden down with sin and defilement. Standing before the Lord alone we would only be able to partake of the grapes of His wrath. We have need of a Savior. There is one who has trodden the winepress alone….even Jesus Christ.
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment…in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. ” Isaiah 63:1-3, 9b
Christ Jesus fully drank the cup of wrath down to the bitter dregs for His people. The Just for the unjust. He drank the dregs, so we might taste and see that He is good. That we might taste the sweet wine of his love. In Christ there is mercy.
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine” Song of Solomon 1:2
When we are Chist’s He keeps us as a precious vineyard, that is His own dear possession.
“In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with meHe shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.. Isaiah 27:2-6
Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch [that] thou madest strong for thyself. Ps. 80:14 and 15
Oh, to be planted by the Savior in this pleasant garden of the Lord!
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