I read a piece of scripture in my devotion time recently on a cold, winter morning. Steaming hot chai, and these words from John 15: 1-8, brought much-needed warmth to my heart:
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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 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. 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. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
How beautiful, how interesting. Jesus says He is the “True Vine.” That makes sense to me because I know Him as the Way, but then He says that His Father is the Gardener, which is a metaphor I haven’t thought about much before. We are pruned by the Gardener, we are watched over by the Gardner, and we bear fruit because of – the Gardener.
So, in the deductive way I think of things, it would read like:
Gardener – the Father
Vine – Jesus
Branches – You & Me
Fruit – Love
Jesus says that it is to His “Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
So it really is like a grand garden that we’re living in. We are pruned, watered, and taken care of. When we thrive, God is happy. Like a proud Gardner. When we love others, He is satisfied with what He has made and is blessed by the beautiful garden and its fruit, growing and thriving before Him.
Even if we are ugly and have thorns, He waters us. Even when we need pruned and weeds are growing up all around us, He waters us. Even when it rains, He is watering us.
Like a proud Gardener.