“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, and I will 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 a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If 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. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.
So, I left off that I had a freshly weeded garden. I have to admit, I was tired when it was over. I was looking forward to enjoying the flowers without having to put in any effort for awhile. There was even consistent rain, so I didn’t have to remember to water the plants. Then we left for 2 weeks on vacation.
When we returned the first thing I noticed was how dry and wilted everything was. You see, I had put a friend in charge of watering, and they hadn’t really done it. They had their own things to worry about, and couldn’t tend to mine.
The second thing I noticed was there were ALL THESE WEEDS!!! Not ONLY were the weeds I had just pulled back, but they had multiplied! It was as if I had never weeded in the first place. Now I have to admit, I was pretty frustrated, and my first instinct was to give up, but then I remembered how content I had been when everything was looking clean. I got to work, the next morning. You know a really cool thing? It wasn’t as hard. The weeds hadn’t taken root. I had caught them early enough and they pulled right out. What a relief!
Did you know God was the first Gardener? In Genesis 2:8 it says that God planted the Garden of Eden.
In John 15 the symbolism of God being our gardener is so relatable! Working in my plants this past summer was such a great reminder of the following truths:
1) We must weed in order to allow space to bloom. If we don’t allow God to cut off the dead areas it will drag us down.
2) WE must remain in God. We cannot allow others to be in charge of tending us. It is our responsibility to stay with God, tend to our own relationship. We are promised if we do so God will be right by our side.
3) If we stray (and most of us will because we are humans) we must begin the pruning (or weeding) process quickly. We must not let those roots grow deep!