grape lessons

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Helen, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    Call it laziness, but I didn't get my grapes pruned last November. Then Christmas, and the New Year and the rains and, finally, today, I got to work on them.

    And whenever I trim them, I think of Jesus' illustration of the grapes -- He is the vine and we are the branches and He trims off all that does not bear fruit.

    Some people think this means you can lose your salvation, or get 'trimmed off' if you don't produce fruit.

    That's not what Jesus was talking about. Every main branch on a grape vine has many other branches. Some bear fruit. Most are just vigerous shoots that can grow twenty feet out or more in a season. They take a lot of energy from that vine. Energy we would like to go into the grapes.

    So the branches that don't bear fruit get cut off.

    I am a branch on the vine of Jesus. And there have been a number of times in my life when I have put great amounts of energy into this or that that seem good, and are 'normal growth' and appear quite lovely and healthy....but which don't bear fruit.

    So God trimmed those parts of my life off, so that my energy would go into the parts of my life where HE wanted me to grow, because He knows what parts will bear fruit.

    What is the lesson of the grapes? Not that you might lose your salvation, but that Jesus will constantly care for you, making sure that your fruit will be the best possible by getting rid of those parts of your life which will not bear fruit.

    Each year this lesson hits me new.

    And, having trimmed so late this year, when the new shoots were already coming out, I noticed something else. Some of the small shoots that had borne grapes last year were dead now. That just happens. New shoots will come at the base, but that particular part is dead. The branch is not dead -- just that part of it.

    And so I got to thinking about how sometimes part of my life has served its purpose and then dies away. And my growth goes on as God directs other places. There are parts of my life that are gone, finished now. I was just fifty-six a couple of weeks ago. I will never give birth again, never nurse a baby again, never teach school again. All these things were wonderful in their time, and bore fruit. But they are not part of me now.

    Instead, there is new growth and new fruit coming. So I look back on those parts of my past with fondness and happiness that I had a chance to be part of all that, but, at the same time, I look forward to the new ways God will direct my growth, and curiosity about where the fruit will be produced.

    I do love gardening!

    Now, if you will excuse me, I've got to go rake up the mess and clean up that area! God bless...
     
  2. Johnv

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    Hmmm... I have several plants that "bloom on last year's growth". If not properly pruned, you get no blooms this year, and will have to wait until next year to see blooms. I'm thankful that Jesus knows the areas of my life that need pruning, and the areas of my life that need growing. In my own life, I don't get too concerned if I didn't see fruit in a cerain area of my life. Typically, that same area ends up producing the following year.

    All in God's time [​IMG]
     
  3. Thankful

    Thankful
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    Helen, thank you for sharing this. It is so very true, but difficult to understand at times.

    Just last year, we had a clematis vine that was not at all attractive. Some people said cut it back; others said no, but I cut it nearly back to the ground and it is growing beautifully this year.

    A few years ago I was befriending a person who was the only person in her office to survive the Oklahoma City bombing because she had a dental appointment that morning. She was very depressed and suffering from survivor's guilt. We were friends for several years. We went on trips together, but suddenly it seemed she didn't need me anymore and I was very hurt and thought that I had failed.

    When discussing this with another friend, she said, "You have accomplished what God wanted you to and He has released you from this duty". That was very comforting words to me. I still talk to the woman on the phone, but seldom see her.

    You are correct. My energies were needed in other areas.
     

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