[Jesus said] “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. . . . If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”
You Are a Planting of the Lord
Spring is in the air. New life is signaling the death of winter. Bird songs fill the air. The grass is greening. Leaves are budding. Flowers are blooming. And soon, the fruit will be ripening on the vine.
Yet, amid the kaleidoscope and fragrance of flowers mingles the gray haze and pungent smell of brush fires. The smoke isn’t pleasant, but it is necessary. Gardeners need to trim away lifeless branches, rake up the waste, and burn it to protect the healthy plants and promote new growth.
In the garden of God, every believer in Jesus is a planting of the Lord. To God, the gardener, we are the display of his splendor (Isaiah 61:3) and the pleasing aroma of Jesus (2 Corinthians 2:15). We flourish best when our heavenly Father trims away everything that threatens our faith.
God’s gardening activity is always for our good, even though the smoke and shears may bring about tears. Sometimes God’s shears and smoke are a warning signal for us: Be on your guard against anything that can threaten your faith in Jesus.
Sometimes, God’s shears and smoke signal that God is at work in our lives, caring for us and correcting us when necessary so we can bear the fruit of love for him and our neighbor.
Lord God, mercifully forgive me for my sins and accept my thanks for graciously grafting me to Jesus, the true Vine. Amen.