Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dried Grape or Raisin, Your Choice

According to the Sun Maid website, in 1872 William Thompson of Sutter County, California, brought the Sultanina seedless grape to California. The first year his new grapes escaped the flooding that destroyed many of the crops in the area. In 1873, he was not as fortunate. A serious drought left the grapes dried on the vine. Refusing to accept what appeared to be the inevitable; Thompson harvested the dried grapes and marketed them as “Peruvian Delicacies.” The grapes became known as “Thompson seedless” and the California commercial raisin industry was born.

There are many people in our world like those dried grapes. The hot dry winds of adversity have blown upon them so long that they can not see any hope for their life. If you know someone like this, tell him/her there is hope. Our God is in the business of adding the living water of Jesus Christ to the lives of those who have been dried out by life. This life giving water brings both life and flavor to the life of any individual that is willing to receive it.

History is filled with individuals who have overcome their circumstances through the grace of God. Through God’s grace they have become raisin people, if you will. One of the many is David Ring. David was born with cerebral palsy. He became an orphan at an early age in life. His childhood was marked by constant ridicule from his peers. Due to the nature of his condition, he was unable to remain with any one family for long. He was cast about from family to family. David was a prime candidate for one who would dry up on the vine of life.

When he had reached the end of his rope, he received the living water of Jesus Christ. Through his relationship to Christ he learned self-acceptance. He refused to allow his handicap to define him as a person. With a spirit that refused to remain dried up on the vine and with the enabling power of God, David has become a nationally known speaker. When one first sees him come to the podium to speak, the tendency is to feel pity. The effects of his cerebral palsy on his movement and on his speech are evident. After he speaks for a few minutes, one loses the sense of pity and realizes this is a man who refused to remain dried on the vine. He chose to respond to the call of God on his life and become a true raisin of a man.

One of David’s favorite lines in the introduction of his testimony is, “I have cerebral palsy-What’s your problem?” With this simple pointed question, he makes his listeners look at their own lives. Many immediately begin to see that the things that oppress them are small in comparison. They see that they are not destined to stay dried on the vine, Instead, they can become raisin people, if they will receive the living water, which God wishes them to have.

Are you in a dry place in life? Don’t believe those voices that tell you there is no hope. Look to the one who is in the business of taking dried out lives and making them into raisin people and believe that you too can become one.

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