I live in wine country. Grape vines surround this town and some, older than my grandmother, line backyard walkways and fences. I’m familiar with their lush greenery and abundant fruit in the late summer and also their barrenness in the late winter.
Do you see beauty in these pictures of the barren grape vine?
I do too. Maybe because I can relate to the barren grape vine due to barren seasons in my own life.
I don’t see vines failing to produce. For if they were failing to produce, the vinedresser would take them away.
John 15:1 – “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away…”
These vines were pruned in the fall and are waiting for the lush foliage and sweet juicy fruit to spring forth again.
Are you in a season of producing much fruit, a season of pruning, or in a season of lying dormant?
No matter where you are, be encouraged that you are a branch in the Jesus vine. He is yours and you are His. You are in Him and He is in you.
John 15:4 – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
John 15:9-11 – 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
And as the Father has loved Jesus, so Jesus has loved you.
Read that again…
As the Father has loved Jesus, so Jesus has loved you.
If you are in Christ, Jesus loves you as the Father loves Him. If you are producing real spiritual fruit, Jesus is actively at work in you. It is a sign that He lives in you. It is a sign that you are abiding in Him and He in you. It means you’re not doing this on your own, all by yourself. The God of the universe is doing something in you and with you because He loves you.
If you feel that you are in a pruning stage, then you can be encouraged too. Though this is a difficult stage, it means that you bear fruit and He is doing something in order that you bear more. He wants more of His fruit to be produced in your life.
John 15:2 – “… every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
Maybe you have birthed fruit but you have recently been pruned. You may be in a winter season, resting and waiting for the coming spring. Then you can rejoice too. For He may be purposefully allowing you to rest and is soon to produce a glorious abundance in your life that will nourish the body of Christ and others He has placed in your life.
Perhaps we only feel that we are in one of these seasons but really we’re experiencing them all to some degree in different areas of our lives.
No matter where you feel that you are right now, I pray that you would be able to see that each season is beautiful in that they show us that the Lord is purposeful and active in our lives. He is tending to you and is passionate about your growth. More so than the most passionate gardener you may know. I pray that Jesus’ abiding joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full!
Linking up with the ladies at the following inspiring blogs this week: