When Grapes Ferment: Fear Factor Considerations, Part 1

by | May 8, 2015 | Death, Fear, Fear Factor Considerations, Rest

We all face our own fears.

One of my worst fears while attending seminary was silly. I was actually afraid to one day show up in church without a tie. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

Until the day I taught Sunday school in front of a large group of people. Being European, I can’t help talking with my hands, and I had made sure that I was at a safe distant from those around me! But while explaining some Biblical point, one of my hands flew directly to my tie, only to discover, to my utter horror, that it wasn’t there.

Needless to say, I turned beet red, and at that exact moment, I wished I could have become invisible! But then, that would have been quite scary to my audience, wouldn’t it? One of their worst fears might have become a reality!

To tell you the truth, no one ever mentioned my goof. Maybe my fears about the tie hadn’t been warranted after all!

One of the worst fears of one of my seminary buddies was to enter the seminary grounds drunk. And what makes this fear really silly is that this was someone who had never touched alcohol in his life!

That is, until that sunny day in May where he went for a bike ride in the mountains.

He rode quickly and his exertion left him tired and thirsty. When he reached a little village near the seminary, he stopped at a store for a drink. All that was available was a big container of grape juice, which he purchased, and then he climbed up a nearby hill and stretched out in the sunshine. Unfortunately for him, he fell asleep before even tasting his grape juice.

Now this day in May was unusual hot, and he woke up even thirstier than he had been when he purchased his juice. He opened the container and downed it completely. For some reason it didn’t taste the way he had expected it to, but hey, when you’re thirsty, you’re thirsty! Nothing will stop you from satisfying your thirst!

What he didn’t realize was that while he had taken his long nap, his grape juice bottle had been sitting in the direct sunshine. Now grape juice doesn’t fair well in extreme heat, and while he was making his little trip into dreamland, his juice had fermented. Because he had never tasted alcohol, he ingested the entire bottle without realizing what he was doing. Believe me, he would remember the distinct taste of alcohol for the rest of his life!

Yes, one of his worst fears came true. He was quite inebriated when he rode his bike back onto seminary property. Though he was never reprimanded for this, he still learned an invaluable lesson about the power of solar energy on grape juice!

In both of these situations, the fears were completely unwarranted. Isn’t this true of most of our fears? Why worry when most of the things we fear will never happen, and even if they do, the consequences are usually quite different than what we anticipated!

David proclaims: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Ps 34:4 NIV) We really have nothing to fear with God as our guide! Why do we even worry?

“But what about the time I faced certain death?”

Prov 14:32 “Even in death the righteous have a refuge.” NIV

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “Fear Factor Considerations” devotional series, please click here.


When Grapes Ferment: Fear Factor Considerations, Part 1