I chuckled this morning when I read today's passage, Isaiah 5:1-7. While these verses are actually a metaphor for the people of Israel, it can also be applied to Christians today. Our life can be like a vineyard, with God as our master gardener and tender. He can expect that his careful and loving work can be met with a fruitful harvest, yet so often... that harvest is sour. Why? Today people call it pessimism and optimism. They say that some people are just more optimistic than others. But I really don't get why someone who calls themselves a Christian would be sour and pessimistic.
There is so much joy to be had just by living in the Lord. And by allowing him to prune away the "yucky branches" of our past life, we can grow to be sweet and fruitful. There is no need to hang onto those bad branches of the past. Imagine how wonderful it could be to stop viewing every move with caution and sourness! Having a positive attitude towards life is a fantastic gift from God, and it can be such a witness to other people as well. People are truly amazed when Andy is discussing work and time off, and saying how he isn't worried a bit because God will provide. There is certainly some disbelief there, and some shaking of heads, but a seed may have been planted that some day will bear it's own fruit.
God is great! He is an amazing provider, and a wonderful gardener. I am grateful to him for removing my dead branches and allowing the ones I have to sweeten. It's so much better living a life of sweetness and optimism. And hopefully, it's contagious. :-)