“Do men gather grapes of thorns…?”

As I was studying my scriptures this morning, this verse stood out to me:

Matthew 7:16: “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

The thought occurred to me that we can’t harvest grapes from a thorn bush. Figs aren’t found on thistle weed. Sometimes we do things, and expect results that cannot come from those things.

Grieving can be a lonely process. Disappointment can make us feel more alone than ever before. Often we turn to a friend to find support, and understanding, and relief.

But there are times when they cannot supply what we need.

When I am not finding the support and source of happiness I wish I could find from people around me, I wonder, could it be that I am trying to find ‘grapes’ on a ‘thorn bush’?

Could it be that people can’t be relied upon to create our happiness?

People change. People make mistakes. People can be thoughtless.

People can even do cruel, evil things.

People leave this life.

If I rely on other people to make me happy, to bring me joy, to make me feel complete and whole and happy – – – I am trying to find ‘figs’ on a ‘thistle.’

I need to find a source of happiness, of joy, of the feeling of being complete and whole and happy somewhere other than in another mortal person.

The only reliable source is our Savior. Until I turn with my whole heart to Him, and find my strength and happiness in serving Him and in the love He offers as I draw near to Him, I will be disappointed, and in pain.

My relationships will suffer – because I will be expecting things from them that were never meant to be.

I will look for relief from that disappointment and pain in other places – in another friend, in constant activity, in music, in entertainment , in work, in food, in spending – in any of the myriad distractions that the adversary places before me every day to prevent me from turning to Christ.

And so I determine once again to seek Him. I will ask Him for the support I need. I will ask daily to be led to the verses that will help me the most. He knows what I will face each day, and He can help me put on the specific armor that will protect me for the battles I will fight that day.

It will take more than a few minutes a day in the scriptures. But I know I will find the support and strength I need – and greater happiness than I can find any other place – as I draw near to Him.

Seek Him. He is waiting to help you. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”*

*Rev. 3:19 -22

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