“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. . . . Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15: 1-2, 4).
A friend gifted me with a huge hanging basket of fuchsias in early June. I became their caregiver. Soon so many of the buds were dropping to the floor of my outside deck, enough to make me concerned.
I talked with a garden nursery specialist and found out that this is normal initially. It makes room for new growth to emerge. She offered other tips.
At times, some parts of the plant actually dried up while still in the soil. Overall the plant rallied with time and care. As I write this it is nearing the end of August. The plant is thriving.
During this same three month time period, I was going through multiple medical evaluations, as fatigued and stressed as my plant had looked at times.
I’d rally when good reports were the outcome of the tests. God was pruning me of the anxiety that built up when each new health twist and turn arrived. He was tending me and desiring to strengthen my trust so I could wait well and remain abiding in the trust He has in me.
My desire was (and remains) to stay at rest in Him so that lifeless wilting worries fall to the ground while God’s life-giving presence remains my strength, steadying me.
I seldom feel like I am bloom-ful but as God nourishes me, He sees with eyes that look beyond how I feel. He observes my heart where the seeds He has planted of His plans for me await His time to flourish.
I want to partner with Him, fostering fruit on His vine. When He looks upon the work accomplished so far I pray He is glorified by what He sees.
Prayer: Lord, break though the tangles of anxiety that need to drop away from the vine where we abide together. No matter how I feel, You want me to be open and trusting as You tend to bringing about your blooms of greatest splendor. Amen.
About the Author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. Since 1983, she has lived with vestibular dysfunction: constant dizziness, sessions of vertigo and related side effects of nausea, balance problems, neck and back pain, visual tracking and eye fatigue. She is a breast cancer survivor having gone through surgery and chemotherapy treatments in 1987-88. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. Do visit her blog at http://lynn-severance.blogspot.com
In what ways has God uplifted you when the drain of your chronic illness has you nearly falling off the “vine” from fatigue or need of care? During such times how do you reach out to God to let him know your heart’s deepest desire is to keep trusting him?
In what ways do you feel that you are in a covenant partnership with God that keeps you flourishing in Him?
Lynn shares this about the song today: “Our times of abiding, despairing, struggling to remain grafted into the Vine safe in God’s care are shared beautifully by this song recorded by Kathy Troccoli. ‘How Would I Know.’ As you listen, remember God’s faithfulness in days past and anticipate that same faithfulness today and all days.”