As I sit under the shelter of a profusely blossoming crab tree, I reflect on John 15:
Jesus said, “I am the true Vine and my Father is the Vinedresser.”
I notice that means the Son is completely submitted to the Father, modeling the way for us to do the same. The Father cuts off every branch that doesn’t bear fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit gets pruned so that it can bear even more.
Yes, trimming the long, unruly branches will direct more nutrients into the parts that remain. Just like pulling the creeping charlie from my gardens will give more room for real flowers to grow. It would take over everywhere if left unchecked!
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you,” He says. “No branch can bear fruit by itself.”
When I tried to find my own happiness, I found only a shallow, mediocre version of the life I have now connected to Jesus. I had eventually realized my own navigation was sadly lacking, so I came back to where true life and nourishment is freely given. Where all good things originate in plentiful measure.
The blooms of the crab tree are prolific. This beautiful tree is a reflection of the Father’s glory. He smiles to see His disciples growing and thriving. Those who choose to put Him first and rely on His influence more than any other will be like a fruit tree on the best fertilizer. They will have everything they need to flourish. They will be sweet, fragrant and full of life.
A call to remain connected isn't to restrict freedom, but to offer true freedom and joy. Abiding in the Vine, staying close to our Creator, will bring out the best possible version of ourselves.
Dear God, I need to be focused on you and not any imitation of what life might be. Help me stay connected, listening and following. I want the thriving life that only you can give.