Grown to Be Great
I love blueberries.
I love cranberries and raisins and strawberries.
I even love kiwi (but only in my mother's homemade fruit salad).
But the fruit I love the most, the fruit that gets me going every time?
Right Place. Right Climate. Right Time.
A big travel dream of mine is to taste grapes from vineyards all over the world. One that I am anxious to sample from the vine is the pinot noir grape, also known as the "heartbreak grape". Originally grown in the French regions of Burgundy and Champagne, it is considered many to be the perfect grape because of its terroir.
Not terror, terroir.
There is no true English translation of the word, but one sommelier describes it as "that all-encompassing 'sense of place'". But because the grape's skin is thin it can easily mutate into a different pinot if the environment is not optimal.
It has to be the right place, the right climate, and the right time.
Growing Fruit in a Barren Land
Thomas Didymus the disciple is a heartbreak grape. He could be rollin' with Jesus one minute, then challenging him in the next. Faithful, but doubtful. Even his name is double minded. Thomas is the Hebrew (Aramaic) and Didymus is the Greek for the same word: twin. The Gospel of John details how he lived up to his name.
He was one who always needed to be in the right place, in the right climate, and at the right time to receive the revelation. By reminding us who Thomas was as a man, John helps us understand the delicate nuances of Christ growing you and I as fruit in a barren land:
CLARITY IS NOT A PREREQUISITE TO BEING A FRUITFUL CHRISTIAN
So Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, but for your sake I am glad that I was not with him, so that you will believe. Let us go to him.” Thomas (called the Twin) said to his fellow disciples, “Let us all go along with the Teacher, so that we may die with him!” ~John 11:14-16, New Living Translation
I can hear Thomas saying to himself as they take the long walk to Lazarus, "Better to die with my Teacher than without him". A clear understanding is not a prerequisite to Christianity. There will be parts of your journey that will press your belief system. But the Master Gardener has provided the living vine of Christ for your nourishment and growth. In one season, your ears like Job's may hear of God's goodness. In another, your eyes will see it for yourself. But only if you stick with Jesus even when it doesn't make sense.
OUR VULNERABILITY NEEDS CHRIST'S PROXIMITY