Vine and Branches

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.” John 15:5a (NLT)

Today Dale and I finished cutting down the row of trees that separated our driveway from the back yard. The trees were fascinating to us when we moved into this home. They produced lovely flowers that attracted bees and were full of pollen.

At first, we did not know what the trees were, and shortly after moving in we found out that they were Rose of Sharon. That made us happy, as we feel the Lord directed us to this home and has blessed us with this home. One of the names of our Lord is Rose of Sharon.

Our love for the Rose of Sharon has greatly diminished over the years. It is an example of how the Lord should be in our lives, our Lord being an integral part of our lives whatever we are doing. The tree however makes certain it is an integral part of our yard. If there is a square inch of space the tree will grow there. No matter where we look on our property, Rose of Sharon are there.

This grouping though had honeysuckle vines throughout, which gave it a heavenly scent and we loved that. It filled the air with sweetness.

The past couple of days Dale has been cutting the trees and branches down and I have been hauling them to our wood pile. This has been interesting to me.

John 15:5 is one of Dale’s favorite scriptures. He will quote it often and I love hearing him talk about it. The image I get when I think of this verse is of a grapevine. Jesus is the main stock of the vine and we are the branches that go out from the center. I have never had another image of it, until today.

As I have mentioned we have been cutting and the honeysuckle is in the midst of the trees. We noticed yesterday that although the branches and the trunk were cut down we could not pull them free of the honeysuckle. This morning it was more of the same. Dale had to cut the vine loose before the branches could be moved.

I thought about the vines as I dragged the limbs up the driveway to the wood debris pile. I leaned down to pick up one more branch and noticed that the vine was like a rope, three cords wound together on the branch. As I picked up the branch I heard, “I am the Vine”.

The picture I next thought of was what I had seen happen. Dale would cut the branch, but it would be held up by the vine. What I interpreted from this is, when we have been grafted into the Vine, our Lord holds us tight. He wraps us up in Him. When satan tries to cut us away, cause us to shift our focus, we may be distanced from our roots, but our Savior is holding us tight. Keeping us wrapped in Him. The Vine giving us stability.

The rest of the above verse is followed by more illustrations. John 15:5-8 in the Message says, ““I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.”

After my morning lesson, I have continued to think about what I heard, saw and experienced. I hope that, like those branches now on the woodpile, I will cling to the Vine, having my Savior wrapped around me, helping keep me in His perfect will. I will lean into the Vine and make my abode with Him.

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