Like wine we are prepared to be enjoyed in our season. What kind are you?
All wines are not the same. Not only do the vintages differ with reference to blends, years and varieties, but also in terms of their respective timelines. That is, some are made to age while others are prepared for early consumption. Like planets orbiting the sun each comes around at its appointed time. It is the same with men and ministries, we are uniquely made to function differently, and may be released in very different seasons. Since God is the vinedresser we need to simply trust the journey and refrain from fruitless comparisons.
Unfortunately, fruitless comparisons are hard to avoid. They often surface when we are frustrated in our journey. This certainly gnawed at me at various points in mine.
Early in my walk it seemed unfair to see others coming into their destiny far faster than I. At least that was the way it looked on the surface. It ignited insecurity and caused me to wonder whether I was missing something. Why were things taking so long? It was far too easy to blame others and particularly the institutional church.
Speaking to a renowned prophet about this, he quickly responded ‘the longer the preparation the greater the destiny’. It was a comfort of sorts. Greater destiny was not worth being traded for premature visibility, so I had to be patient. Still it seemed unfair. The ‘church’ was not responding the way I had hoped and it seemed that others were fitting in far better than me. I fought the impulse to compare myself to others, but I was being stretched.
The Real Problem
My problem was one of impatience and ambition. Fortunately, God has a process to deal with both of these. Nevertheless it was still an extremely difficult period. Survival was made possible in part by understanding this key principle. In short, the best wines will sit the longest. Even if that is true there was more to my frustration God had yet to straighten out.
For example the question of long or short preparation ought to be moot. We are prepared for the master’s use and not for our own glory. Should God choose to prepare and use us one way over another it is really inconsequential, if we are indeed servants of a greater cause. This was the lesson Peter learned at the mouth of Jesus. When the Lord prophesied Peter’s death, Peter immediately asked about John. To which Jesus responded, “What is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22)
The point is we are going to be different but each variety or vintage will be suitable for His use. Like Paul we should be ready to be poured out and not to worry, like Peter, if we are getting the short straw. This is the central issue around much of our frustration and, thus, need to avoid being distracted by the question of length. The most important questions is, ‘are we willing to serve His purpose?’
Yes, God is a custom builder! He can adapt our training for both our destination and whatever our deficiencies. Your journey or destiny is understood by God who has prepared a unique program. Trust Him to make you the kind of vintage He intended. Remember… people are like wine so be happy with the kind God is making you!
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” –Philippians 1:6