I am the vine; you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.
I changed the water in my hydroponic garden yesterday, which is a good thing. A needful thing. It took longer than I anticipated, which is apparently a bad thing. My poor tomato plants fell over. They were out of the water too long to remain standing upright as they had been. This is not a good thing. I thought they were healthy enough to be out of the water for the half hour I needed to move them. I was wrong. They wilted.
I tend to think I am healthy enough to skip a day of Bible reading or praying or spending time with God, but I know that if I could see my spirit in those times of not being connected, it would probably look just like my tomato plants. Fallen over, wilted, too weak to stand upright.
Jesus knows how much we need Him. Much more than we seem to know ourselves at times. He knows that if we are disconnected, even for a short time, it takes away some of our ability to bear fruit in our life. Our life-giving source that keeps us alive and healthy and standing upright comes from Him just as my tomatoes’ life source is the water with all the nutrients they need for survival.
It’s all too easy to make excuses – I’m late for work, I have to clean the house, I am too tired, I’ve read it before, I am strong spiritually – I can skip reading the Bible today. When the cares of the world, or even just the routine things of the world start stealing time that we need to connect to the vine, we become weak, and it can happen surprisingly fast.
My tomato plants have recovered nicely; they look as though no harm was done. But I will remember next time, that even a short time out of their life-giving water causes them to wilt and switch the water faster. Hopefully, I will also remember that I too, will wilt when disconnected from the vine, from Jesus, the source of all life. Even if I recover nicely, the time I spent disconnected can’t be recovered. What kind of fruit might I produce if I stayed connected all the time? What about you? Do you find yourself making excuses to stay out of the Word? How do you recover from that?
Jesus, You are the vine and I am merely a branch, one of many that You have created to bear fruit in this world. I can’t bear fruit when I disconnect from You and yet I do that so easily it seems. Will You help me? Help me, especially now, when my time is really stretched beyond belief to purpose to remain connected so that I can remain strong for those You have placed in my life; I want to bear fruit that leads people to You. Be my source, my life-giving source. I pray in Your name. Amen.
picture credit: twewordplay.com