Sweet Words from Two Men I Love

As many of my blog readers have already noticed, I have been having a difficult time lately with all of the changes that are occurring in my life. They are not necessarily negative changes, but they are movements in a new direction that doesn't yet feel fully determined. And the changes require letting go of a lot of things, both positive and negative in my life. These changes range from passing on a ministry that is dear to my heart to simplifying my life by getting rid of belongings. They are good, they are edifying for me, and they are edifying for the body of Christ. But that doesn't make the changes much easier.

Today was the beginning of another change in my life, another unexpected, but again much prayed for change. (And I think that is all I'm going to say about that right now.)

Anyway, my boyfriend and I chatted tonight and he shared that he thinks that I am being pruned. I agree. I love how God speaks to me through my boyfriend. I've never had a relationship quite like this before. Check out John 15 (with my added commentary.)

John 15

"I am the true vine," I love that the word "true" is included in the first sentence introduction to this great allegory. And the association with "vine" - a living growing plant that stretches and bears fruit. It is hardy and it is beautiful. I have artificial vines decorating the top of my walls where they meet the ceiling in my room. My bed comforter is graced with vines and I use to have more than one potted vine with its leaves flowing down over my bookshelf. You can say my room has a vine motif.

"and my Father is the gardener." I am not a gardener, but I know and hear many gardeners talk passionately about their work. They really care for their gardens and take much pride in helping them to grow. They want their garden to be healthy and they have to be diligent in their interactions with it and be especially aware of the weather. A good father cares for his children and looks out for their best interests. He both disciplines and encourages. He desires their success in life and most importantly he loves his children and his love is not dependent upon their weaknesses or successes.

"He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit." If there is no fruit, does that mean that the water and nutrients are not able to reach the farthest reaches of the branch? What is in the way or severing the bearing of fruit? What does "in me" mean?

"while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes" So, if things are being cut out of my life, that doesn't necessarily mean that I am dead in faith, but rather it could mean that God has recently used me to bear fruit. Pruning is painful, but it doesn't mean that you are not healthy, but rather is a sign of health or movement towards greater health.

"so that it will be even more fruitful." It seems that every one keeps telling me that God is preparing me to be even more fruitful. I can't imagine what life would be like to be even more fruitful! And then again, I do have dreams that seem way out there and incredible. And maybe perhaps part of my recognizing all of my weaknesses and areas where growth is needed is part of the pruning process which will help me to grow and prepare for whatever is the next stage. I know this may sound crazy, and even more crazy that I'm admitting it on this blog, but someday I would like to run for president.

"You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you." Thank you, thank you, thank you God!!!!!!!! This makes me smile and cry all in once. Aren't these beautiful words of love from God to us?

"Remain in me," Oh yes God, I will, that is my desire!

"and I will remain in you." Ahhhh. good promise.

"No branch can bear fruit by itself;" Agreed, God has shown this to me over the past 3 years of ministry. You just can't do ministry on your own! Whenever I tried, it failed. Our human efforts just don't match with God's efforts, especially when half the battle is in the heavenlies/spiritual realm.

"it must remain in the vine." And to remain in the vine, go back a few verses and read that one must bear fruit, but to bear fruit must one remain with Jesus. Its circular logic, but it works, because the way into the circular cycle is through Christ.

"Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." Already agreed upon.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." This is one of three or four verses that has radiated in my heart and mind during these past 3, 3 1/2 years of ministry and ministry prep. It has been a very key and significant verse to the ministry here in town, in regard to my heart and what God called me to do.

Keep reading - its a great chapter or two, but whoever said that any chapter of the Bible isn't great!

Thanks to the great guy who helped connect what everyone is telling me about God preparing me for something else with the words in John 15. Thanks to the other "man" in my life who is the Farmer and the Vine!


Sydney Darnay said…
"I am the fine...."

I like that! Kind of has a catchy ring to it, don't you think?

Freddie Sirmans said…
Just browsing, very interesting.

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