Strength Through Struggle

GrapesThe other week I was watching a movie and one of the characters made the statement that the best wine came from grapes grown in rocky soil. Being the naturally inquisitive (okay, nosy might be more accurate) person that I am, I decided to do a little research. Guess what? It’s true. Who knew? Well, maybe you did….

This was really interesting to me because as a gardener, I spend a lot of time trying to make sure my soil is in great condition for the plants to grow. I try to do everything I can to make it easy for them to produce beautiful, healthy vegetables. If I don’t, I can pretty much guarantee I’ll be shopping at the grocery store instead of in my back yard, so the idea of plants thriving in poor soil is almost a foreign concept to me.

Why would a plant actually produce better from poor soil? Well, I found a couple of reasons. First of all, in this type of soil, roots have to branch off to gather nutrients. This serves two purposes: it increases the surface area of the root, allowing more nutrients to get to the grape, and it helps regulate water absorption. Evidently, if the grapes get too much water, the flavors of the grapes are diluted. Secondly, good drainage is a must for grapes to do well, and rocky soil drains better. Here’s where it gets really interesting though. When a grapevine has to struggle for survival, it prioritizes where the nutrients go. Instead sending all the nutrients to the leaves, it sends them to the roots and to the fruit, resulting in those beautiful, flavor-laden grapes.

Well, you know me…. Everything I see seems to have a lesson for me, and this was no different. Those of us who live with fibromyalgia, or a chronic illness of any kind, are planted in “rocky soil.” It’s probably not what we would have chosen, but like those grapevines we can choose to channel our energy and resources toward things that are going to benefit us. We can grow stronger, not just in spite of our circumstances, but because of them.

Each step we take forward, no matter how small, moves us forward and makes us stronger for the next step, and moving forward under adverse conditions just amplifies that. The more you direct your energy to things that are beneficial for your well-being, the stronger you become, just like those grapevines that thrive in that rocky soil and produce those wonderful grapes.

I may not have chosen my soil, but I do choose to use it to grow and strengthen me. How about you?




  1. Very beautiful lesson. I have discovered that the best of my experiences with God comes most tims from rocky situations. In the words of Samson “Out of the strong came sweetness.” Thanks for sharing 🌺🌺

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Like you, for me those rocky times strengthen my relationship with The Lord. I think it’s because during those times we’re at the end of ourselves and clinging to Him more tightly than ever.

  2. Terri, thank you for your blog post. So often, I don’t appreciate the rocky soil, I’m growing in, wishing for easier circumstances. Instead, I need to think how the rocky soil is making flavorful fruit, that will be made into wine of joy!

  3. I had guppies a number of years ago and noticed that the ones I caught and kept in a gold fish bowl with no aeration stayed small but the ones that were left in the aquarium with the adults got bigger. Later, I bred my cocker spaniel (once) and was told by one lady who bought one of the puppies that her puppy was bigger. It fought with the bigger dogs to get to the food. I think the struggle is key in growing stronger.

    1. I agree. I think we see lots of evidence of that in nature, including the two examples you shared. We may not like the struggles, but we do learn, grow, and become stronger through them. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Enjoyed reading this post, the pic and the blog. Thank you for reminding us to use our energy in the right way, and on the right things so we can grow stronger in spite of our circumstances. Keep blogging. Your words are a blessing to me.

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