1″I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5″I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:1-8
I love this scripture and the anology Christ uses to explain our place positionally in Him. He says that He is the true vine – which denotes for us that there are definitely going to be false vines in our midst. He says that His Father is the gardener – He tends to the branches because the purpose of the branches is to bear fruit. The branches that bear fruit He has to clean (purge) them so that they can be even more fruitful. We know that the sap rises from the roots to the branches and nourishes them so that they can produce fruit. Branches don’t just sit out there by themselves bearing fruit – they have to be connected to the vine and receive nourishment from the sap (which represents the Holy Spirit). How awesome is this analogy for the child of God? The child of God is the branch which abides in the vine(Jesus) receives strength and nourishment from the sap (the Holy Spirit) and is being cared for and tended to by the gardener (The Father). My question to you, my sister, my brother, is are you abiding in the vine or are you a branch swinging from the Vine?
I have a lot of trees in my backyard. I love to look out my window and see all of the strong trees yielding beautiful leaves in Spring! It’s a very calming sight to behold. Sometimes, however, I notice a branch that is seemingly swinging by itself – it’s barely holding on and if the wind gets too strong, it will inevitably break off from the tree. Of course if that happens, it will die because it will be disconnected from its source of life. Comparatively, sometimes we may feel in this Christian walk that we are branches barely holding on – a windblow away from being tossed violently to the ground and forever disconnected from our source of life. But, hold on, beloved….just as you feel you are about to break, the loving, caring, Gardener will come along side you and lift you up. His loving arms will embrace you as He carries you to the breast of the Vine and pins you gently to His heartbeat as the flowing sap immediately sends you strength to continue your task of yielding fruit.
I don’t know what’s going on with you today! I don’t know what issues are plaguing you and causing you to be weary – feeling like that swinging branch – but I just want to encourage you to trust! Continue to praise the Savior for His lovingkindness and His longsuffering! Even if you feel like you’re going to break, KNOW with certainty that Your faithful Gardener sees you swinging and He’s going to deliver you! You will not continue to swing, you will not even touch the ground – because in the nick of time, just in time….He will lift you up! What you are going through is only the pruning process – He is cleaning you up for the wonderful fruit you will bear in His name. You did know that there is a cost for such a beautiful basket, didn’t you?
c/Candie A. Price