John 15: 1-2; 5 – “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He 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. 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.”
In summer of 2015, I was able to make the trip of a lifetime. I traveled from my home in Florida by car, to Seattle and back. Along the way, I stopped to visit a friend and his wife, who own a vineyard in Sonoma County, CA. Wine Country!
My friends own 10 acres of Zinfandel grapes. While I was there, the harvest was imminent and all over the area, on every neighboring farm, the fruit was coming off the vine.
The timing of harvest is well-planned because to make Sonoma wines, the sugar level in the grapes has to be just right. Once the fruit is picked, all growth stops.
The same is true of us. As Jesus says in the above passages, he is the vine. We are the branches that bear the fruit. If we are not attached to the vine, fruit cannot grow.
If, as a branch, we are just laying on the ground and not rooted into the vine, we quickly dry out and are not useful for anything other than for firewood.
The times I’ve encountered brothers and sisters who are struggling, this is often the issue. They’ve separated themselves from the vine that gives life. If you find yourself having a difficult time, check to see if you’re rooted to the vine that is Jesus.
He loves you and wants you to be fruitful, so go to him and ask for his divine help to get “plugged back in” to the vine of life. Then as the Father prunes you, the fruit in your life will return. Celebrate that it’s just that easy.
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