Hoping to share the love, joy, and grace I have received in my own life.

I Am A Branch

on January 9, 2016

Just before 6:00 a.m., on this beautiful winter morning, there is darkness. In fact, it looks as though it’s the middle of the night rather than just over an hour before sunrise.

As I begin my devotion time, I feel like I will end up studying more about being a light in this world, because this morning’s darkness seems to pull me in. I got up from my glider several times to look out the window again. In the distance, I can see lights from farms across the land that is not yet even minutely visible. It seems, in this blackest night, I should be able to see stars and I look for one shining, just for me. From the small window, I don’t see any stars though. What comes to my attention is branches from the tree in our front yard. I see the branches reaching out towards our house and immediately think about John 15.

Jesus, after the Last Supper and the washing of the disciples’ feet, leads the disciples out of the city of Jerusalem and stops in a vineyard where he tells them, “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.” 

Wow. This metaphor is exactly what I needed to be reminded of on this very dark winter morning. Jesus is the vine. God is the gardener. I am a branch. I have not yet been tossed aside for bearing no fruit, but am being pruned to bear more. The pruning is stinging, painful even. I consider the hardships I have gone through as a part of the pruning that Jesus is talking about. At first, the pruning hurts the branch as it’s cut back, but the healed branch bears more fruit.  The fruit is our good works… not only sharing the love of Jesus with others, but allowing God to work through us to bring Him glory.

In John 15:8, Jesus says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” 

In Galatians 5:22, Paul wrote, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”

Yes. These are the things I need to be sharing, showing my Gardener that the pruning is allowing this branch to be more fruitful.  Because I have been through the worst, the pruning is less stinging today. The more I believe and trust in the care of God, my gardener, and Jesus, the vine to which I cling, the more I am able to worry less about the pruning. I want to be more fruitful.

It is lighter outside my window now. I see the land stretched out, reaching to the farms where the lights are dimming. I pray that this day may be one in which I am given a chance to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Amen.

*Please see my added comment below.


One response to “I Am A Branch

  1. danacox31 says:

    In rereading this morning’s post, I feel I need to clarify that I don’t view pruning as discipline or punishment. God prunes those that are doing things right in their lives. I don’t believe the pruning comes as a result of sin, but as a result of bearing some fruit and being cared for enough to bear even more.

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