The Dregs – Becoming Better Or Bitter

The production of good wine requires many steps. The grapes must be picked, i.e. pulled off of the natural place of receiving nutrients. The grapes are then thrown into wooden vats and trampled upon. In this process the skins of the grapes rupture and the juices from the grape are forced out. The liquids from this crushing process are collected in vessels or containers. These fluids would be set aside to allow the fermentation process to produce wine. However quality wine will not be produced from only the fermentation or zymotic process. More steps are necessary to produce a substance of clarity and flavour.
As the liquid is fermenting the wise winemaker or vintner takes the vessel and slowly decants the liquid, leaving behind the particles of ruptured grape skins. The broken skins which settle to the bottom of the liquid are called dregs, they provide the vibrant colour in the wine, but they also contain a bitter extract. If these dregs are not removed by pouring off the clear liquids, then the wine will have a bitter aftertaste and it will contain a high level of turbidity (cloudiness).
The steps for producing good wine could be compared to the lives of many people. At times it will seem that we are being pulled away from the sources of our sustenance and nutrients. We are being bruised, slit open or crushed by circumstances. Then what remains of us is left alone in a vat, stored in darkness. After a period of time, when it seems like everything has settled down and we are accustomed to our environment we are poured into another container. This process occurs again and again disturbing our peace.
Most of us do not like change. We prefer to have everything in it’s place, everything going smoothly, with nothing disturbing the routine. God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah about the people of Moab. They had an easy life, there were not having challenges, they held on to their hurts, they had not moved to maturity, but in a sense had remained people with an after taste, a bitterness in them. Jeremiah 48:11 says, “Moab has been at ease from his youth; he has settled on his dregs, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into captivity. Therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent has not changed.” The outcome of not having purifying changes taking place was that foreigners would come destroy that which was bitter.
We all go through struggles and challenges. We may feel bruised, crushed, or constantly poured from vessel to vessel. The challenge for each of us is whether we will become better or bitter through the process. In your present situations, which of these two options are you taking upon yourself?

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