Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)
Just finished The Secrets of the Vine … the book I started a couple weeks ago and blogged about it briefly.
Just wanted to say it was pretty neat. A quick read for sure, but still cool.
The whole book is based on the 15th chapter of John, where Jesus was talking about his relationship with us by talking about the way a grape vine works. It’s really really cool how Jesus takes such tangible examples from life and reveals the deep truth of God’s somewhat intangible Kingdom.
So much truth in one cool little image. The way that the “vinedresser” takes care of the vines, and how his main purpose is to help the branches be fruitful. And how pruning, as crazy as it looks is actually to help bring about more fruit. And how the bigger the connection to the vine, the more (and better) the fruit as the vine matures. This is the “abiding” or “remaining” in the Vine (Jesus).
I noticed though, that he was talking about these “stages” as though they were progressive. That as you move along in life you pass from stage to stage, and hopefully get to the “abiding” stage as he called it. And as I read each stage, I think that perhaps rather than progressive, they are cyclical.
There are times when God is disciplining me (the first stage) for a chronic sin – or just one I am unwilling to admit – that he needs to get me away from so that I can flourish again. Then there are times when God is using the circumstances around me to “prune” me… to help me to be even more fruitful. Like going through the serious financial crunch we are going through now? Perhaps God is helping me to trust Him even more deeply than I already do?
Then there is the abiding stage… where God is my friend. Where all of my life is lived with him, and I see the “fruit” of an everyday, everyway relationship with him. Have been there a bunch too. It’s awesome.
So I don’t think right now I am at one stage and need to move to the next… I think I might be at a pruning stage, as life is particularly hard right now in several ways. This book also helped remind me to spend much more time in the Vine. Just running lots more stuff by him, not trying to “produce fruit” on my own.
It’s not up to me. On my own I can do nothing. Apart from the Vine I can do nothing. But, through him I can do all things!