Welcome! Grab yourself a hot cuppa & pull up a chair as it’s time for our reflection together.
I’ve had a rather busy week, finalizing my continuing professional development for this year.
New shoots on the Vine
Don’t you just love seeing new growth, it’s spring here in Australia so there is new growth & blossoms everywhere as described in last week’s Lessons in Season.
In this new season of growth, I thought it time to start a Book Club (reading group) hosting it once a month over lunch.
I did have a first reading adventure in mind that would’ve had us trekking through the deep jungles of South America but God had other ideas.
We instead are reading about vines, vineyards & the fruit of the Vine! The author is taking us on a journey through the romantic vineyards of rural Tuscany & Scripture.
There are ten ladies who have joined the book club, all differing in age, back ground & life experience which is very exciting.
It will be interesting to hear their perceptions of this book & what is revealed to them as they walk through their own vineyard with the great Vinedresser.
What produces the best fruit?
In my reading of this book, several things have ‘popped’ out from the pages but one thing in particular got my attention.
I had read it the night before I phoned my dear Dad for Father’s Day, which was this past weekend here in Australia.
It was the chapter on the importance of where the vine is planted…so interesting!
A vine that is planted in the richest of soils, where it gets everything it needs + more, will grow the most beautiful leaves & have the most vigorous vine growth. But will not bear any fruit what so ever!
However, the vine that is planted in rocky soil, especially clinging to the side of a hill. Where it is put under a certain amount of stress & pressure, produces the richest & sweetest fruit!
A serendipitous moment
The next day while chatting to my Dad, who is a retired horticulturist living in the Highlands region of our state with his beautiful garden.
I asked him how his garden was fairing since rainfall of the last few months after the drought of previous years.
He answered the following,
“The garden is doing really well its blossoming & blooming, this is what happens to plants when they’re put under stress & pressure like that of the drought. They start producing fruit & seed prolifically.”
Okay God, now you really do have my attention! I had read that exact same thing the night before in the bookclub book!
A brightly lit light started burning in my mind, yes a light bulb moment!
We often lament over where we have been planted…Don’t we?
Where we think the soil seems so rocky & uncomfortable, we feel as though we are just clinging to the side of the steep slope of stressful issues like unemployment; the unknown future of a child with special needs; financial instability; mental health struggles; family problems; unresolved relationship issues or chronic health conditions.
What ever the situation we are facing it seems to us that the smoother soil without the
rocks pressures & stones stress would be so much more comfortable!
Why is bearing Fruit so important anyway?
The important thing is that without fruit there is no seed!
No seed means no reproduction, no reproduction means unsustainability!
The vine eventually dies without leaving any meaningful legacy behind.
Let’s make this personal…
If you join me here often, you know that I live in rocky soil on the steep slope of Mt. Chronic health issues & pain.
And while the rock free soil of the valley below looks so very inviting, I know that it would lead me to become rather lazy!
One thing I have learnt about myself is that I thrive in challenging circumstances.
A challenge hones my focus, it also puts me under a certain amount of stress & pressure, motivating me to do my very best!
But I am not alone in this!
You know Jesus told us that He is the True Vine & those who are His followers, are the branches.
He also told us that our heavenly Father is the great Vinedresser,
“I am the True Vine & my Father is the Vinedresser”
And that if we abide (remain stable in our faith) in Him we will bear His fruit, fruit that leaves an eternal legacy,
Jesus said, “Abide in Me, & I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine…”
We are not the vine!
So though at times on Mt chronic health issues I feel like I’m the vine clinging to the steep slope for dear life.
I am reminded that I’m actually a branch & that the True Vine, Jesus is the One who has His feet planted firmly on this rocky slope.
Knowing this helps me to rest assured that He is giving me all the nutrients I need to grow on His vine.
With the great Vinedresser, my heavenly Father pruning, cultivating & training this branch to produce her best fruit for His eternal harvest.
A question the author asks her readers is;
What fruit are you producing in your life?
It’s thought provoking…isn’t it?
Until next time,
You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook
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