YOU Don’t Have to Be the VINE!!!
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5 (NRSV)
I rode a city bus for four years to attend my university classes while earning my Bachelor of Education. Although I much preferred the convenience of my own vehicle, I did appreciate how I could relax once I was on the bus for my 20 minute commute. If I was running late or the weather was bad, it was crazy stressful to catch the bus!! But once I was on the right one…I could just sit back and let the driver do his job without a concern about where we were headed or how slippery the roads were or if there were other crazy drivers out there.
In a similar way, we can relax inwardly if we are plugged into the One that knows what’s coming up and can safely and victoriously guide us through it and get us to our final destination.
This isn’t to say that we just become Christians and then sit back for a smooth ride as if our job is done. That’s not what I’m saying. We are, in fact, promised a bumpy road, suffering and earthly troubles in this world.
But Jesus knows each one and He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
In this passage, Jesus states that He is the Vine, God the Father is the Gardener and we are the branches.
Our job is to do the abiding.
To make choices each day that root us deeper into Jesus, deeper into Who He is, what He has done for us, and what He says to us through His Word. We need to get on that bus in the first place, put our trust in the driver and seek His guidance and wisdom for the ride.
Is it easy? By no means!
Especially in our fast-paced culture, it can take every fibre of our being to create space in which we can clear our minds of the everyday and take some moments to soak in the extraordinary, to meditate on the promises that fill the pages of the Bible, to seek His divine wisdom for our crazy lives.
Praise God we don’t have to come up with that stuff on our own!!! But we DO need to plug in.
I challenge us all to take extra time today–whether it’s two minutes before heading out the door or half an hour during naps–to abide in Jesus and give Him His rightful place as the vine. Pray and spend time in His Word. Turn your concerns over to Him and allow Him to comfort you in your struggles, direct your steps and protect you and your family as you give them to Him.