“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, NIV).
Last week the storm came as predicted. As hard as I prepared, damage still happened when the force of the wind gusts ripped the hot tub cover off, taking one whole side of the frame with it.
A couple of days after the storm passed by, I went to the store for groceries; on the way, I could not believe all of the damage done from only a tropical storm that was not even of hurricane caliber. Trees lay twisted on the ground, stacked upon each other; branches were strewn all over the place. Once I got over the shock of the number of fallen trees, I was reminded how important the root system is to the life of the tree. The branches no longer attached to the trunk of the trees had already begun to dry up and turn brown. Pile after pile, large debris of dying branches lay scattered on the ground for miles. The impact was shocking!
Next, I thought about the words spoken by Jesus in the Book of John. Anyone who has ever grown a garden of vegetables, fruit trees, or flowers knows that once severed from the life source, the dying process of the vegetables, fruit, or flowers begins immediately. So, it is for the believer. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches.” When we try to live apart from Jesus, God’s Son, we may do okay for a while but ultimately, our spiritual nourishment will vanish; like the struggling branches I saw laying on the side of the road, we too will struggle. The next thing Jesus said is “If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned” (John 15:6, NIV).
Friend, like last week’s writing, this is a hard truth to wrap our heads around, but it is God’s spoken truth. We live in ever-changing times with storms brewing everywhere. COVID-19, isolation, and human unrest just to name a few of the obvious storms. Stay connected to Jesus, the Life Source both on earth and for eternity to come. He is able and willing to keep us when everything else is falling apart.