“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine, In the innermost parts of thy house;
Thy children like olive plants, Round about thy table.”
“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes,
or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16
“And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes
of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner:
I am the Lord your God.”
The Word speaks frequently of the grape vine. Our own lives can be like this fruitful vine. When we abide in Christ we enjoy the sweet fruit of blessing – even if we are experiencing trials.
The grapevine pictured begins at an old gnarled trunk. It is not pretty to look at. But faithfully every year new vines spring forth covering the arbor thickly and extending along the fence in both directions for about 20 feet. When we first became the vine-dressers we were timid in our pruning, afraid that cutting to much would hurt or kill it. This year we were forced to prune it back heavily; we had to repair and reinforce the old arbor that was listing a great deal to one side. In due time the new vines shot forth with greater vigor. The abundance of grapes exceeds last year.
That is true of life. There are times when we too need to be pruned. It is hard and it hurts. We twist and turn in order to avoid the pruning. It is for our good, just as it is good for the grape vine. Pruning leads to greater fruitfulness and the removal of useless or diseased branches. Submit to the pruning that God brings; it is for your blessing.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him,
he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. ”