By Bette Dickinson

Lessons from a Vineyard

“After the harvest, the leaves no longer channel their energy into producing grapes. They soak up the last rays of sunshine and push their energy inward and downward. So when bud break comes, it’s not actively photosynthesizing yet.”

Dave Bos, a vinedresser friend and I were surrounded by just budding vines as he began to enlighten me on the mysteries of the vine in one of the vineyards he tends in Michigan. 

He drew my attention to the little tiny buds that were beginning to break forth from the branches and gently lifted one under his thumb and pointer finger so I could look closely. He explained,

“It has what it needs to grow up and out because all winter, the energy has been stored in the roots.”

I took a deep breath. 

It all made so much sense. All the power needed for bud break came not from an external source, but an internal one. 

It erupted with the power hidden within what looks like death. 

Maybe in your life, what looks like death on the outside is hidden with new life.

What if the breakthrough you seek doesn’t come from the right job or the right house or the right opportunity, but comes from within?

The same power that raised Christ from the grave lives within you and within me. The life-giving, creative power of the God of the universe is at work through each of us.

And that is what causes the breakthrough.

It is the same creative power that awakened the dream. Stirred the hope. And lifted you up out of that grave.

It grew up out of the roots that dug deep in the chill of winter. The ones that stored the energy you were not yet ready for. So that when the time was right, it could burst forth with all the vigor and resilience needed to push through the ground.

We need seasons of dormancy to prepare us for bud break, because to channel that kind of power requires an undivided heart. A surrendered heart. A heart that trusts in the power of God alone. And it is from that place that the true self can emerge to shine for what it is.


A version of this piece was originally published on Bette Dickinson's blog. Photo credit: Bette Dickinson.

About the Author

Bette Dickinson is a prophetic artist, writer, and speaker who invites audiences to connect with God through visual parables of the spiritual journey. Through creative communication, she helps her audience awaken to the beauty of God and His Kingdom and see more clearly the eternal realm in the heart and in the world. Through her work, Dickinson helps her audience connect the inner life of spiritual formation with the outer life of mission.

Bette earned her Masters of Divinity with an emphasis in Pastoral Studies, is ordained in the Reformed Church in America, and serves with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Spiritual Formation.


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