Ps 50:10 For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. Psalm 50:10 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
Something I’ve noticed is that most children like to eat grapes — especially the seedless ones. Something else I’ve noticed is that most children realize grapes are kind of a special treat. As a kid you could probably get away with raiding the pantry for a pound of saltine crackers or a bag of vanilla wafers. But grapes are another matter entirely. Grapes aren’t supposed to be hogged, hoarded, or wasted. Grapes are expensive.
Well, a couple of months ago I had something happen that has never happened to me before. Our household had all the grapes we wanted. In fact, we had MORE grapes than we wanted or could possibly use. I like to refer to it as “The Plague of Grapes.”
Ever so often, our local mega-store receives a shipment of produce that they’re not allowed to sell. Now, mind you, there’s not a thing in the world wrong with these fresh fruits and vegetables. They probably just failed some technicality like sitting in the truck for five minutes too long. Nevertheless, the mega-store can’t sell the produce, so they donate it to charity. Our congregation often gets asked to help distribute the abundance of food.
Well, the last produce our congregation was asked to help distribute was grapes. My goodness, I’ve never seen so many grapes in my life. After giving away flats and cases and bunches to everyone we could think of, we were still overrun with grapes. So, I took several cases to school with me to give to my co-workers, and they all ate grapes and took them home. After three days, the school refrigerator was still full of grapes, and they pretty much just sat there. The unthinkable thing had happened. The teachers were full of grapes, and nobody wanted any more.
So, one day after lunch, two high school students stuck their head in my office, and they noticed a bunch of grapes that would have made Joshua and Caleb envious. Half-jokingly, they said, “Hey, Dr. Cash! Can we have some grapes?”
(Of course, you do realize they were really just kidding. Because if there’s one thing that every kid knows, it’s that no adult ever gives away grapes just-like-that. That’s because they never imagined there could be a plague of grapes.)
Imagine their amazement when I said, “Sure! Come in! Take all the grapes you want! You can have this 10-pound box!”
Well, there was feasting and rejoicing in their sixth period class that afternoon, as the teenagers “shared the wealth.” And that afternoon, I realized a profound spiritual truth. “Big things” can become “small things” in a situation where there’s an abundance.
Many times I need “something big” from God. But very often I hesitate to ask God for “big things.” I guess I’m thinking that if something is hard for me to get, it must be hard for God to get, too. But that idea is completely wrong. God has an abundance of everything, so we must never hesitate to ask our loving Father for the things we need.
The Psalmist said that the LORD owns “the cattle on a thousand hills.” I’m glad He has plenty of grapes, too.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 30 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, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the kittens are sniffing the tree, but not attacking it.) Their kids include Spencer (age 24), his wife Madeline (age 24), and Seth (age 21). You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.