Grapes or a Leafy Vine

I was listening to one of my favorite pastors on my i-pod the other night as I was jogging in the neighborhood. He was expounding on Jesus’ sermon in John 15. “I am the vine, you are the branches…” He shared a fascinating story from Bruce Wilkinson’s book, Secrets of the Vine.  Bruce and his wife had moved to a nice country home with a fence on one side that they shared with an old, country neighbor. This fence was covered with the most beautiful grapevine they had ever seen and they began to eagerly await a bountiful harvest of grapes. Until one day as Bruce was looking out his window he noticed his neighbor hacking away at the vine. In distress he headed out to talk to his neighbor, hoping he could deter him from destroying the whole vine.  He tried to kindly mention to the neighbor that one of the features of this house that had drawn him and his wife was the beautiful grapevine. The old man cut in, “Ya like grapes?” To which Bruce responded that yes he did as did his whole family. “Well,” the old man told him, “You can have grapes, or you can have this big beautiful leafy vine. But ya can’t have both. I gotta prune back all this extra growth and these leaves, then we’ll have the biggest, juiciest grapes you ever saw.”

This picture really spoke to me. Jesus says that every branch that bears fruit, He prunes so it will bare more fruit. Without that pruning, we would just become big, “beautiful” but useless leafy branches. Often I find that the pruning, is uncomfortable. And I question His wisdom. I kind of like big, leafy and beautiful. But when I resist, I miss out on my ultimate purpose. The pruning away of the extra “leaves” in my life, makes me fit for producing “much fruit.”


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