Those small round green things are grapes. They look kind of sad but they are grapes. My grapes from my vineyard. OK, so I don’t actually have a vineyard. I have two small grapevines growing along my back fence. I never get to enjoy those grapes since the birds and squirrels eat them by the time they are purple and ripe. I still get excited though, when I see those little grapes. It’s a reward for planting, watering, trimming, and waiting.
I love that God uses vineyards, farming, and planting seeds to teach us how He works. It’s a beautiful picture to me because I love gardening. Each year my husband and I plant herbs, vegetables, and fruit in our suburban backyard. Some years our garden is full of variety and very fruitful (no pun intended). We’ve had years where we neglected the garden and got very little as a result. Many factors affect our harvest. Watering enough. Weeding regularly. Pruning. Gardens require care and patience.
When I look at my little vineyard I think of John 15:5. It is one of my favorite verses, and the Holy Spirit reminds me of it almost daily. Jesus is the true vine and I am just a branch. I cling to the promise of that truth just like a branch clings to a vine. I can do nothing apart from the vine, Jesus. Not some things. Not a few things. NOTHING. This is reassuring to me and at times frustrating.
As the measly branch I get impatient waiting for fruit. Waiting for growth. Waiting on the Lord. Sometimes, I want to break away from the vine. This little branch thinks she knows better. That I have a better way to get that fruit. The truth is, away from the vine I will not grow. Actually, I will die. But because of His grace I remain attached to the true vine. He provides everything I need to bear fruit. Real, lasting fruit.
The fruit that Jesus is talking about is spiritual. Eternal. He tells us in John 15:16 that He chose us to bear fruit that will last. Obeying His commands will result in remaining in His love. Joy. Love for each other. Laying down your life for a friend. Friendship with Jesus. (John 15:9-15, NIV) That’s the kind of fruit I want to bear in the little vineyard where He planted me. I can only do that through Him.
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (NIV).
Love you all,