3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts:
the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:3 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
My younger son, Seth, has always been a man of few words. One day when he was about 4 years old I picked him up at daycare after my work day was finished. Arriving back at the house, Seth silently executed a well-thought-out plan.
Silently, he climbed up on the kitchen cabinet and took out a small plastic margarine tub. He exited the back door and walked to the big tree behind our house. He put an old chair next to the tree and set a milk crate on the seat of the chair.
After climbing on top of the crate, he quickly went to work. Minutes later he re-entered the kitchen without a word, eating a snack from the no-longer-empty plastic bowl. Every true Southerner would immediately recognize what had just transpired: Seth Cash had been picking muscadines.
For those of you who’ve never heard of them, muscadines are a variety of wild grapes that grow on vines that occur naturally in the Deep South. Muscadines can be used to make delicious jams and jellies.
When I was a little boy, my aunt Luciel McGhie used to make pies by cooking the wild grapes and running the juice and the pulp through a sieve. Muscadine pie was one of my father’s favorite desserts. But I would venture to say that most wild grapes are eaten in their natural state. A lot of times I look out the window between Sunday school and morning worship, and I see the church children sharing (and eating) muscadines they’ve picked. Children love them.
All those years ago, a little boy with the margarine tub made me aware of the goodness of the Lord. Wild grapes are just one of the manifold blessings of God. Nobody plants muscadines, but they are found everywhere because the Lord plants them. I had never noticed the tangled masses of vines in our own backyard—but Seth was on the lookout for good fruit.
I realized that all around us are the gifts of God, unearned and unrecognized. Only those who appreciate the blessings of our Heavenly Father partake of the good fruit.
Abundance is all around us, if we only take time to look. Don’t take God’s bounty for granted. Give thanks to God for all of His good gifts.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 28 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, and until recently taught Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where sometimes there are “scuppernong” vines, too.) Their kids include Spencer (age 22), his wife Madeline (age 22), and Seth (age 19).