“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
One of the things I enjoy most about Texas summers is tending to my vegetable garden. About five years ago, Susan Clark, a gifted Master Gardener, drove to the “north 40” to help me plan the layout of a vegetable garden. Let me un-glove my “black thumb” here – for me, gardening has not been accompanied by unending bliss! Due to numerous pestilence outbreaks, blight’s destructive power, and highly determined rodents, it has been a struggle to keep my vegetables and my hope, alive!
Aside from many pesky frustrations, I have experienced intermittent gardening joy. When a summer breeze is still present early in the morning, I enjoy scanning my garden by gently pushing aside the mass of leaves and branches. As I notice several small eggplant babies dangling on the branches – joy turns into a smile, and I am aware that He smiles, too! My pleasure over “fruit” appearing in my garden has turned my thoughts to Jesus. How does He feel as He notices godly fruit emerging in the garden of our hearts? If I feel such delight at seeing a tomato plant bud, bloom, and leave a shiny piece of fruit on its vine, how much more delight must Jesus experience as He spots godly fruit growing on our branches?
Do you ever struggle at seeing yourself the way Jesus sees you? I sure do! It happens when I lose connection with The Vine, attempting to produce fruit apart from Him. Yet, apart from The Vine, it’s impossible for godly fruit to be cultivated in my life. Comparable to my hopeful expectation at seeing my vegetables thrive, Jesus lovingly surveys our hearts for godly fruit, the fruit that comes from abiding in The Vine. So, with an awareness of His tender, hopeful heart, may we be encouraged anew to cultivate godly fruit through time spent with The Vinedresser. This way, together with Him, we can delight in a bountiful harvest of godliness both in and through our lives.