God often speaks to me through nature, especially when I’m working in my garden. Today I looked at my grape vine. I noticed there was much less fruit than we’ve had in the past. And as I followed the vine, I discovered the problem.
Some years ago, my son had planted an oak tree in the yard. The tree was quite small when it was planted, and it had a slow start, due to years of drought. But now it’s a beautiful, mature oak tree; spreading it’s limbs and reaching to the sky.
Unfortunately, the limbs have stretched toward the grape arbor and is now blocking all the sun. So, when I traced the vine, I found it had attached itself the the oak tree and was no longer bearing fruit. So, I began the arduous task of pruning the vine. And that’s when God began to show me the necessity of cutting back the unruly branches. As I continued my work, he compared my efforts with something we often see in the church. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 7:19)
The oak tree resembles large churches. Everyone marvels at it’s growth and they flock to hide under it’s branches. But there are other churches planted in the garden. They were not meant to sore to the sky and cover the landscape. They have a special purpose in God’s plan. If the smaller branches remain focused on their purpose they will bear much fruit, and it is a sweet offering to the Lord.
Sometimes the smaller vines become envious of the large tree. It seems to capture all the sun. So, parts of the vine begin to move toward the tree, and often attach to it’s branches. As they strive to become part of the something bigger and grander, they become hidden from view. Eventually, they become part of something which was never in God’s plan. They lose their ability to bear fruit.
So, if you’re sitting in the garden wondering why others seem more successful, be patient. God has not forgotten, and in time, you will bear much fruit. We can all be part of something much sweeter in God’s sight.
Be Blessed, Donna