“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.” John 15:1-2 NIV
The beautiful ivy had crawled up through the ground after winter’s cold and was overtaking our sturdy wooden fence. I needed to remove it. So, on a beautiful spring day, with gloves and clippers, I headed out to trim. The vine was solidly and deeply rooted in the dirt, but I was able to pull the runners away from the fence. I hated trimming those beautifully variegated leaves. To me, ivy gives a sense of antiquity and strength. As the day ended, I looked at the carpet of cuttings on the ground and breathe a sigh of relief that the job was nearly complete. As I finished the next morning, I noticed how dead the trimmings were after only one night.
Jesus cautioned believers to live in Him for the same reason. His words in the Bible resound with the same thought—apart from Him, we can do nothing for His kingdom, and we do not become what He has created us to be. If we are like sturdy branches growing in Him, the Vine of Life, we will understand that the pruning, while sometimes painful, is necessary for us to grow in love, trust, and service for God, leaving us to be an ever-bearing, vibrant part of His kingdom. However, as the leaves of the ivy vine die apart from its strong source of strength, we too will die spiritually if we remove ourselves from prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers.
As the springtime brings new growth, and the earth becomes rejuvenated with beauty, may we experience the same in our relationship with Jesus by staying connected to Him.
Heavenly Father, help me to be a fruitful branch on Your vine of life. May my life glorify You.
I love to walk with and write about our great God and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Now in my senior years, I can say, looking back at the joys, difficulties, and challenges of life, "I know that my Redeemer lives," (Job 19:25 NIV). I am a retired teacher and author of many published articles, and contributor to two books--God Still Meets Needs (Littleton)and Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ (Wilburn,Butts). I am also author of In God's Creation: Devotions for the Outdoors and In God's Creation: Devotions for the Beach. Both books are available on Amazon and www.booknofurther.com.