Devotions By Jan

Wine Casks

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Scripture for Today: James 5:11 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

Having lived so long in the wine culture of France, I have come to appreciate some of the details of its production.  We would often see these enormous oak barrels storing the wine.  I am told that the time spent in those casks had a direct bearing on the taste.  Oak will add flavor, slow the exposure to oxygen making it smooth and provide a suitable environment for the fermentation, making it creamier.  It will take time to produce the desired taste.

Today’s verse talks about how important time is to appreciate the compassion and mercy of the Lord.  The one who perseveres is blessed or happy.  Certainly Job did not feel especially blessed when going through all the heartache of loss and calamity.  In fact, he argued with his well-meaning friends and questioned God about what was happening.  But Job did persevere in staying true to his Lord.  Even though he was ignorant of the reasons for his trials, he did not give in to the pressure from his wife to curse God and die.  And in the end Job was blessed!

God finally brought about a positive outcome though it took years and years.  I may also be asked to wait for that “finally” or that positive outcome that the Lord in His mercy and compassion brings about.  Just as the wine takes time to acquire its taste, so God’s plan for me can take a lifetime to accomplish.  I may never understand it all but I can persevere and be true to Him because He is loving and faithful.

Lord, keep me faithful to You.

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