Jun 9, 2007

Sweet Wine

Originally posted 6:30am Saturday Dec 30, 2006 on Facebook

Meditation on Sweet Wine

So many conversations around here (here being the Seminary) stem around marriage and singleness. This one goes out first to myself, and then to all of my single friends. Also, please forgive me if there are mistakes in here (logical or technical). It’s late and I’m tired, so I may have to come back and revise later.

One of my constant meditations is that of God’s salvation. No, not salvation in the eternal sense, though that is certainly worthy of constant meditation. Here, I mean in the sense of preserving my physical life. One of my favorite things to focus upon is traffic lights. I wonder how many times the Lord has preserved my physical life with the simple device of a traffic light. The number must surely be astounding (yes, for the theologians, I realize that he is doing so every moment of every day, but I speak here from the temporal perspective). I think about this sometimes, especially at traffic lights as they are something so many tend to curse (if not in the literal sense, in the sense of being aggravated by them). I must admit that I find myself annoyed by them sometimes too, but am immediately reminded of this meditation. How many times has the Lord used the timing of the traffic light to preserve my life from some unknown danger that lie ahead and would have taken my life, had I been there a second earlier (or later)?!!! The key is timing. God’s timing demonstrates his infinite wisdom, power, and glory. Even in something as simple as a traffic light, this can be seen.

So often we speak about God’s timing being absolutely good and perfect. We glory in it and say that we agree with and are thankful for it. In the ‘little’ things I think that we probably do. It’s easy to step back and think of a traffic light being used to demonstrate God’s timing, yet, as we so often do, when it comes to things that are dear to our hearts, we seem to think that we know best. We become impatient and discontented. We then ‘take’ things out of God’s hands and try to handle them ourselves. Then we read the story of Abraham and Sarah and condemn them for laughing and for their actions. We can trust God with the ‘little’ things, but not the ‘really important’ things. Do we really believe in his timing?

For those that are single, we must realize that timing comes into play in the second most important way of our lives when we discuss relationships and ultimately marriage. The first, is obviously salvation. Nothing else can compare to that. However, God’s timing for our marriage (if indeed we are to marry, as some are not), is the next most important thing in our earthly lives. It involves the right person, the right preparation, and the right timing. While we are single, we should be focused on being content, yet looking to the future. We must also focus on serving Christ during this special time of undivided devotion and growing as close to him as possible. During this time we must be meditating on him and allowing him to refine us for our future spouse. We must constantly be watching and growing, especially in terms of the qualities needed for marriage. Most importantly, we must be in prayer, sincerely asking that the Lord would prepare our future spouse for us and us for our future spouse and bring the two together in the fullness of time, in his time and in his way. It’s all about preparation in the proper timing.


What do you think of when I say ‘timing’? Are you a musician, a dancer, a martial artist, so on and so on… How important is timing in these things? Do we really think that we can master these things better than God? Do we really think we can orchestrate things in such a way as to bring about good? No, my friends we must realize that the master of timing is infinitely wise and trust in the giver of all good gifts! How devastating to the musical score it would be if the notes were not given the proper timing. How devastating to my health if my timing in the martial arts is not correct (as my recent ankle injury has proven). How devastating to the dance (and the dancers) it would be if the timing was not correct. You get the point. Without proper timing, there is only devastation. I think back just a few years ago when I believed myself to be ready for marriage and thank God that he preserved some young woman from being bound to me (this is hypothetical, as I have never dated, for those that might wonder about inconsistencies in my speech). I was not ready and devastation would have been the result. We must also refrain from comparing ourselves to others (as always), thinking, they are younger than I am, why are they married and the like (or God forbid we be so arrogant as to think ourselves more ‘ready’ than they are). It is not for the thing made to say to the maker why, but to submit, rejoicing in his wisdom. We must realize how fatal a mistake in this area can be. If not, we prove our ignorance of the gravity of such a decision (and our ignorance of the nature, power, and wisdom of God).

Now we come to the inspirational illustration that sparked this entire note… sweet wine. The thought came to me randomly (the randomness is no surprise to those that know me) that I was being aged and prepared just like sweet wine. Now, for the record, I’ve never tasted wine and don’t really know anything about it (alcoholic father), so I had to do a little research here (and still don’t know why this, of all things, was the illustration contrived within my mind). I found that ‘sweet wine’ is really the most popular and desired wine. It contains alcohol, but its content is much lower than ‘dry wine.’ Sweet wine is made when it is aged ‘just so.’ If it is too soon, you have grape juice, not wine. If too late, you have more alcohol than wine (dry). Thus the desirable sweet wine, is attained when the aging is properly timed. Even in the aging process there are many factors that affect getting ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ sweet wine. The type of grapes used, the specific fermentation process, and even the way in which the future wine is stored contribute to the quality and ‘fullness’ of the wine. Again, preparation and timing.

If we truly desire God’s greatest glory in our lives we must realize that only his timing and his chosen person will do. If we truly believe this, it will be evident in our conduct and our attitudes. We will overcome all discontentment and impatience, and be joyful* when things we view as good fall through, since it is simply further evidence of Christ’s preparation and timing in our lives. If not, then it is not marriage we seek, but a selfish fulfillment of our own desires!

*Note: I am not talking about being joyful FOR a heart being broken or being joyful if we have been mistreated. But even in these things we can be joyful that God has preserved us from going further into these situations and from even worse ones. These also serve to remind us to seek God in our decisions and not our own desires or what seems good to us (ever heard of Samson?).

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