At Home with the Gardener
I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. John 15:1-8 (The Message)
A few years ago when my husband and I were in the midst of serious marital warfare, we walked into Starbucks to grab a coffee. The girl behind the counter knew us and asked how we were doing. It was obvious on our faces, and we aren’t very good at masking the truth, so we honestly reported “not so good.” She quickly took our order and said she’d pray for us. A few moments later as we were getting into the car she came running out of the store yelling for us. She grabbed ahold of our shoulders and said “God is pruning you right now so that you will be able to bear greater fruit in the future.” I was shocked that God had given her that Word so quickly and I fell into her arms crying!
Since that day John 15 holds such a personal message to me. If you read yesterday’s post, you know that my family is in a transition. At this time, we see God pruning again. I guess it’s gardening season! Pruning never feels good. It’s not something you ask for. Not something you desire. However, the end result is always rich and sweet due to the pruning pathway.
When God wants to make changes in our lives, and we’re willing to let Him, He starts by cutting away all that is unnecessary. In this process, He strips from us everything that could hinder our future growth, in order to prepare us to bring forth good fruit. Our life may look barren during that time, but God is actually freeing us from anything that does not bring forth life. This process of surrendering all to the Lord, especially our dreams and desires, is called pruning. (Stormie Omartian, Just Enough Light For The Step I’m On)
Heavenly Gardener, I am so humbled (and hurt) by your pruning. Help me to see your greater purpose. Thank you for the promise that when we are at home with you the harvest will be abundant and that we can be sure our requests our acted upon. Show us all Lord how you are acting on our behalf today. I love you Lord. Amen.