Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Have you ever heard of a drupe? It is a fruit with a significant-sized pit like a peach or nectarine, even a cherry. Most drupes grow on trees and require care much like a vine. Water, sunlight, fertilizer, and yes, even pruning. I learned this one the hard way. We had a beautiful plum tree in our front yard. Its blossoms were stunning in the spring. We lived on a cul-de-sac and you could see the flowering beauty from the end of the street.
At first, I thought it was an ornamental tree, but over the season, the blossoms turned into small round purple balls which developed into succulent plums you could eat right from the tree. They were so prolific in the first few years; we invited all our neighbors to pick as many as they wanted. I was unaware of this tree’s care and took the abundance I experienced each year for granted. But it didn’t last.
Even though the tree received plenty of water and sunlight it needed to be pruned, fertilized, and protected from insects to continue to flourish. The blossoms became fewer each year while the fruit turned out to be pithy, sour, and not much bigger than the pit.
I saw Jesus’ teaching about caring for the vine, exemplified in my plum tree. I was not putting the care needed into this tree to produce good fruit. Then I thought, am I putting the care needed into my own spiritual life to produce healthy fruit?
Fruit, unlike vegetables, is typically the sweet, nutritious, seed-bearing product of a plant. Those seeds and pits carry the potential to reproduce that same plant if cared for properly.
Fruit from the vine in John 15 refers to the visible traits of our faith. These traits should be sweet, life-giving, and capable of planting seeds of God’s love and compassion in the lives of others. Some of those traits are listed in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I did not give my poor plum tree the care it needed to continue to produce healthy drupes and it eventually died. So, my question today is,are you demonstrating characteristics that are capable of planting seeds of God’s love and compassion in the lives of others? If not, how can you nourish and care for your spirit, so that those fruits thrive?
Please reveal to me the things I may need to weed or prune from my life so that a Your fruits are allowed to flourish. I want to be a vessel that demonstrates the characteristics capable of planting the seeds of Your love and compassion into the hearts of others. Amen