Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

A Very Fruitful Hill

Sometimes when I read the scriptures I don't see words, I see pictures. It happened this morning as I was reading Isaiah.

"My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill..."  (2 Nephi 15:1)

It's not hard to picture someone beloved, standing in a beautiful vineyard that is flourishing up a gentle sloping hillside.  I see the fence built carefully around it with the stones gathered from the grounds. I see the soil dark and ready for the planting of  the choicest vine. I see the tower in the midst of it, and the wine-press made ready and waiting.

The scene is picturesque.

It is a place I want to visit.

But there is something wrong...in the midst of all that has been prepared and made ready only wild grapes grow.

Why?

The Master of the vineyard asks, "What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it?"

And I wonder the same.

What went wrong?  Because the vineyard was prepared for greatness.

The answer is found in verse 12, "They regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands."

All that the Master had given, all that He had done,was set aside.  Left unregarded.  Not even considered.

And so He took away the hedge, and the wall.

Then there was no protection there.

And He no longer pruned nor digged.

Then came the briers and the thorns.

And He commanded the clouds not to rain.

Then there was famine.

I can't help but consider my own life.  I want to be beloved in my little house upon my fruitful hill. I need the safety of the fence, and my dark soil is ready for planting.  I long for the protection of a watchtower.  I seek the pressing that will turn my life into that which is priceless.

And I realize if I want that blessing I must regard the work of the Lord in my life.  I must consider the operation of His hands in the details.

Because I want to bring forth that which is good.

I want to let Him do more.

So that I can become more.

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