I was so happy the forecast was wrong on Saturday. What was supposed to be a rainy, gloomy day turned out to be mostly breezy and warm, with only a few showers here and there. With all the rain and humidity around here lately the grass, flowers and trees are extremely happy and show their bliss by their deep, vibrant greens and bright colors and by growing like crazy, even overnight!
I worked in the yard for several hours, my biggest project an overgrown row of bushes near our back door. This row of bushes appeared to die last year, but about 2/3 of it came back and is green and happy this year. While I was snipping off dead, gray branches here and there a prayer rose from my heart, “make the dead alive in me, God, in my daughters, in my husband, in our church. Only You can make new, living things from old or dying things.”
He reminded me that if we want to remain alive and healthy and growing, we have to stay attached to Him, the true Vine. If we aren’t attached, we’ll be trimmed off and thrown away, just like I was doing to these dead branches. I did see some branches that were gray and dead on the end, but had new buds and some green growth closer to the main stem or branch that was rooted in the ground. God can bring life where it looks like it’s too late, where it seems the best thing to do is give up and throw away.
I hope this encourages you like it does me. Jesus said, “Remain in me, let my words remain in You…” I’ve been dwelling on how I can remain in Him. I asked Him to show me, too. How do you remain in Christ? Are you dead or alive?
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. (John 15:5-8 NLT)