The Gardener comes into admire His handiwork.
He know what He planted. He knows the work He’s put in to make it beautiful. It’s not just for the look, though. He expects fruit.
He has set this place up and there is so much to enjoy in this place. There are fruits of every kind and in each fruit is the seed to produce more. It is a wonder to behold.
There’s His vine – what a rich and flourishing vine it is too. He does not have to worry about the vine at all. That is well in place. Streams of living water flow through it. Producing in all seasons and ever green, there is nothing to worry about with the vine. As it blossoms and blooms, the Gardener knows it can be relied on for the best fruit available.
No the vine is not the issue – it’s about what has branched off from it. It’s worth inspecting these closely.
The vine is rich, but is this branch connected? Is it? Where’s the fruit? It’s been there long enough. It just looks … pathetic. It’s been given enough time. It’s got everything it needs to bring about the fruit, but it’s not doing that. And if it’s not doing that … then … well … what is it good for?
He gets to the cutting. One branch off. Another branch off. A collection builds. He need not be too bothereed with them as they clearly were not bothered about bearing any fruit. He gathers them together. He starts the fire and throws them in – the useless now of no use at all other than to be burnt.
That’s those sorted, but what about the other branches?
Ah look at them. There are those who are just bring up the goods, let them carry on. But look over there, those ones look brimming with fruit. Clearly they’re ready for some pruning. Clearly they can do even more with some tender work here and there around the branch. Oh they’re good, but they can bear even more fruit as they are nurtured by the Gardener. He will do the work and He will wait patiently. It’s not easy work at all, but it is a work of art and a work of the heart that diligently delivers greater fruit.
All of these branches are connected to the vine and remain so. They remain connected and are fruitful primed to produce even more at the hand of the great Gardener connected to the great Vine.
Questions to Consider:
What do you notice about the garden that God prepares?
What does it mean to be a fruitful branch?
Is your fruitfulness dependent on your efforts or otherwise?
How can these lessons shape your approach to prayer?
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden