S&L Devos: Staying Connected to the Vine

The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
Romans 8:19

God gives us beautiful analogies through His creation, one of the most relatable to me being the pruning process of the plant.

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 15:2

Although it is a long, sometimes painful process, you must prune your plants if you want them to continue to live. I noticed that some of the stems and leaves of my plants were turning brown. You couldn’t tell this unless you really looked at the root of the plant. On the ends they were green and producing blooms. Yet I knew that if I didn’t prune them well, the dead stems and leaves would choke out what life was left in the plants. I began to pull off the brown leaves and cut the stems that were turning brown.

In this process of being the gardener to these plants, God was teaching me so much about his relationship to us.

It is so important for us to stay connected to the vine.

Just as the parts of the plant that were dying and not producing fruit were not connected to the root of the plant, so we will not produce the beauty God intends for us if we do not remain connected to our Gardener.

If we remain connected to a dying root, it will soon choke the life out of us.

In a plant, you can see the brown roots slowly creeping up the stem. If you do not prune away those parts, they will eventually contaminate the entire plant. If we do not set ourselves apart from things/people that we know are a hindrance to our growth, they will soon choke the life-giving relationship we have with God out.

The pruning process is long and painful, but it is necessary to give us the beauty and life that God intends.

Pruning is not a pretty process. One of my plants was a lot deader than it originally looked so I had to cut most of it off. Right now, that particular plant does not look so pretty because it is just a few green twigs and isn’t as full as it once was, but that’s the only way I could save the plant. Sometimes the only way God can save us is to let us feel or seem barren for a season. Eventually, that flower is going to bloom again and be even more beautiful than before. It may not feel or seem very beautiful right now, but the gardener can see more than the flower. The gardener knows what is on the other side and the potential that the flower has to be all that the gardener wants it to be. But first, the flower must submit to the gardener’s pruning.

On the exterior, the plant may not look dead, but when you look a little deeper, you see that the roots are dying.

As Christians, we really know how to put on a lively face, don’t we? At the surface, we can be blooming and green and springy! When, deep down, something is choking us, and it cannot be revealed until someone chooses to dig a little deeper. The Gardener is the only one who really has the position or cares enough to do that, and He knows that He is going to have to cut at the root, at the core of what is choking us, in order to save us. Sometimes it is hard to get there. Again, it is painful. But He knows that if he doesn’t cut as deep as He can, it won’t really solve the problem. When you only pluck the part of the bloom that appears dead, nothing new can grow from it. You have to get to the root of the problem to bring about lasting change, new life, and a beautiful result of the pruning of the Gardener.

“No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the Vine.
Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
John 15:4

Devo Photo

SIMG_0993pecial thanks to Lindsey for sharing today’s devo on Salt & Life Blog.  Lindsey lives in Lexington, KY with her husband, Logan, where they attend Vineyard Community Church. She is a Spanish teacher at Blue Grass Baptist School and has a love for missions, community, discipleship, and meeting people’s needs. You can find her on Instagram @lindstrent.  

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