I have often read Jesus teaching about the vine and the branches, but this was the first time that it was revealed to me that just as the branch is nothing without the vine, the vine is also nothing without the branch. How astounding to think that Christ is nothing without His people on earth. The vine cannot bear fruit, only the branches have that ability. The vine exists to serve the branches. This is the vine’s only purpose. The branches exist only to serve the vine by bearing its fruit, and they only survive because the vine exists to nourish them. I need not worry or strive to bear this fruit on my own, the Father, referred to as “the husbandman” tends to both the vine and the branches. It is His desire that I bear good fruit, and He will do what must be done to assure that this comes to pass. The more a branch is pruned, the more fruit it soon brings forth. It has become my desire to submit willingly, even eagerly to this cutting away. At times this seems painful, more so when situations are beyond my current understanding. Again it comes back to a matter of faith. I must rest in my belief that the Lord Himself is doing a work in me, knows exactly what He is doing, and that all will be revealed to me when I am ready to receive the understanding. I have often used the expression “hindsight is 20/20 vision” and so it is with the pruning God has done in my life. I can look back and see why He needed to cut away and remove certain things from my life and also see the resulting new growth that has occurred. This fruitfulness is all to glorify the Lord, and my heart’s cry is that indeed He will be glorified.
I have learned that I need not spend my time fretting about how to abide for the long term. All I have is each moment, and in each moment I can choose to abide in Him. Whenever the thought arises “abide in Me” (prompted by the Holy Spirit, no doubt) I can say “Yes Lord”, again and again and again. I can only live each moment for itself and the next moment and the next after will take care of themselves. Much like Jesus taught His disciples, of which I may be counted:
“So never worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 International Standard Version
By meditating on, pondering and absorbing the revelation of truths in this book, I have noticed increasing joy in my spirit. I would also say there is a greater sense of peace than I have previously known. I pray that in time I will be better able to articulate all I have learned. Even so, I will continue to surrender each moment, and continue in faith to declare, “Lord Jesus, I abide in You”.