"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. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:5-8
We're in the midst of our first snow day of the year, so it seems strange to me that I would be drawn to verses about vines and branches. Yet I am, because this speaks to me so well. I love to be reminded that unless I remain rooted in God, my fruit will be nothing. It's really no different than a real plant. A plant must be rooted in fertile ground, it must be fertilized and watered regularly in order to grow well and to bear the fruit it's meant to bear. Except in this case, that rooting, that fertile soil is God's Word.
I just go in spurts, I guess. I'll spend a few weeks really digging in and diving into my Bible everyday and relishing every word that God shows me. That same time I'll crawl into bed at night and do my prayer time with God, and I'm eager to do so. But then I'll go in the spurt where I'm busy. Life and things get in the way of that quality time in the Bible, and I'll just catch quick snips here and there, and I tell myself that it's better than nothing at all. My prayer time becomes a quick, thanks for a great day, guard over my kids while they sleep and then I'm done. It always takes me a few weeks before I realize that I've fallen back into easy mode. And I know that's not what God wants for me. I know that God wants my branches to produce the fruit they're meant to bear. Yet when I spend too long without the good fertilizer my branches weaken and I certainly don't want to be that. I don't want to be the branch that is cast aside and thrown into the fire.
So I thank God this morning for this stern reminder. I needed it, and I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to remind we what I need to grow the way God wants me to grow.