“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. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Last spring I bought some of the new roses called ‘knock out roses’. The main reason for choosing them is that they were supposed to be maintenance free, no cutting, no pruning, nothing but beautiful roses all year long. Well….this spring found them with no blooms and long stems and very few leaves. The foundational gardening tip came to mind…PRUNE! I pruned the long spindly stems and when finished wondered “what have I done?” They were only a few inches from the ground and looked totally bare. But, I fertilized them, watered them diligently and within a few weeks I am delighted with bushes that have full leaves, have grown tremendously and are almost ready to bud and flower.
This verse is a reminder that our Lord often prunes His children. Now, this doesn’t sound very pleasant, but as I’ve grown in my Christian walk have learned that on occasion, I need some things pruned away. Things that keep me from bearing the fruit of the Spirit in my life. Attitudes, misguided direction, harboring ill feelings are a few branches that may get long and spindly in my life and hinder fruitfulness. When the dead weight of useless pursuits is gone, my energy and vision is refocused on the Lord and His guidance. Then, I find myself back on track and blooming with the love and light of the Lord shining through me.
Of course the greatest reminder is that He is the Vine and we are the branches and by remaining in Him, we will be fruitful, for without Him, we can do nothing.