“Good morning!” She says smiling as she enters the room. “How are my babies today?” As the door closes behind her, she reaches for the watering can by her feet. She pauses, takes a deep breath and sighs at the beauty that surrounds her.
She walks to the table and places the watering can on the ground and gently caresses the bright yellow petal that hangs from the strong stem. “My, my how you have grown little one.” She says looking up at the glass ceiling. “I thought I’d lost you. But you are a fighter.”
As she kneels down and grasps the watering, can she notices hidden in all the beauty is a droopy, brown lifeless stem. She drops the watering can and reaches for the delicate flower. As her eyes begin to tear up, she places him on the table next to her and examines him. She pulls him closer, smiles and says, “All you need is some tender-loving care.”
What a beautiful illustration of love and care between a gardener and her flowers. She tends to their needs by providing tenderness, a gentle touch, kind words, and an environment in which to thrive. She encourages them to be their very best.*
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. -John 15:1
God cares for us in the same way. He is pictured as a gardener. He prunes the branches in order that they bear more fruit. Sometimes leaving behind only a stump. With such a gardener to prune us and with such a vine to abide in God has made every provision for our fruitfulness. God loves us and wants us to bear much fruit.
Before we can bear fruit we need to understand who our source is- Jesus. In the above verse, He describes himself as the true vine. A branch has no life by itself it must depend on the vine for survival and fruit bearing. All we have to do is stay connected to the vine. Staying connected allows us to stay connected to Jesus.
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. -John 15:5
We are the branches and it is our responsibility to bear fruit. Being a follower of Jesus Christ is to continue His work-bearing much fruit for the glory of God. The key to bearing fruit is to remain firmly attached to the vine. He watches over every branch. But there are times when He takes His pruning shears and removes a branch that is not producing fruit. As we expect grapes from a vine, Jesus expects spiritual fruit from a Christian. Which is the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and Self-control.
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him… – 2 Chronicles 16:9
Daily communion is needed with God to stay connected to Him. Without being connected, we can do nothing.
With Him, you can do all things. Because you are what God says that you are! You are enough!
*Excerpt from Love Like a Gardener posted on BoP on September 5, 2016
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Recently diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Tonya Masoner continues to write for BoP when she is able. She doesn’t ask “Why me Lord?” She embraces the journey God has set forth for her. The battle has already been won. God has walked before her and now He leads her to victory. Her Breath on Paper bio can be found here.