Your relationship with Me


Yesterday was a pondering. Today we walked around John 15: 1-8.

”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”

Ask any Godlover: do you cut and kill sin with your faith? Apart from the odd on or two – the resounding answer is “yes”. Because God says sin is bad.

Ask any gardener: do you cut and kill parts of plants with your pruner? Apart from the odd one or two – the resounding answer is “yes”. Because it keeps the plant healthy.

And a few – like me – will say “whatever”. Because I am not a gardener – I don’t prune – I just chop things and cut things.

”But you love your lawn, Paul. So how often do you “prune your grass” with your lawnmower?”

(I wish He wouldn’t keep doing that sneaky stuff)

Because this morning He allowed me to form another picture. Not of pruners and branches and dead or healthy. But of love. Of trust.

Of relationship – again.

He threw paint haphazardly onto a canvas … and then finessed the mess …

Of my lawn, my grass. Able to speak. Able to converse and debate. Able to choose. Of what the grass believes.

That it is saved, that I saved it, that it will never die. And there is me: remote, but loving. Detached, but omnipotent. Eternal – until we move house. Sometimes uncaring, sometimes totally absent, sometimes starving it of moisture, sometimes flooding it with more rain than it can absorb. Consistent – but inconsistent. And to be feared. This morning He made me God as the grass sees me.

Bloody ungrateful complaining grass!

It does not see me as I am, nor does it see the world as I see the world.

Because I love our lawn: the fragrance of freshly mown grass, the colour of the changing greens, the way it responds to the rain and sun, the growth and sleep, how it is sometimes spongy soft and other times drier crispy, how it hides the dog poohs when it gets long (squelch – yeuck – no one happy!), how there are seasons I can just stand and “love” that lawn it is so beautiful, how I want to keep that lawn evergreen, watered and healthy for years – maybe for ever …

And then He asked: “Is there paradox only when “what I believe” is the sum – the totality – the “all” of Your relationship with Me?”

?? ?? ?? ?? ??

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. John 15:1-8

The pondering continues …

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12 thoughts on “Your relationship with Me

  1. It’s about this rose bush along my driveway… Well, the bush I planted in that way-too-deep hole that my daughter’s friend dug the day we planted the rose bushes… The bush that grew like a weed compared to all the others. Well, I guess it’s more about the elk… the elk herd on the driveway that night I drove in.

    Hmm… I think this is more a post, not a comment.

    I’ll be back…

    Grace — LM

    • Hiya LM – a tad behind and catching up! I read this when you posted and just had to rush off to see what had sparked and then formed!

      Neat idea – might well use the concept myself sometime! Thank you –

      🙂

  2. Pingback: Splinters to Petals | The Postmodern Mystic

  3. John 15:5. Branches. It’s what I’ve named the Family Devotionals I’ve been writing for four years. Favorite verse EVER. I usually notice too late (of course) when I am stressed or confused it is when I have let go of the vine, tried to “go my own way.” Forgotten to settle into my comfortable chair with a cup of coffee, my prayer journal and Him invited into the space.

    It’s really only when I abide in that peace I have the courage to trim (or to ask Him to do the honors). Too often I simply jump off a cliff, then pray He will come to my rescue before I hit the ground. (Wait…didn’t the enemy already tempt Jesus to do this????) Oh, crud, another lesson spelled out in black and white that’s taken me decades to learn. (sigh) :-/

    • Hi Susan – and what a marvellous “crud” that is! I have never thought of it that way.

      Which causes me to ponder anew: when does trust become test? When does love become duty? When does eternal become “complacent”?

      Discernment, discernment, discernment …

      And circles right back to your “chair and a coffee” in “our space” again. Rest in Me – takes on a whole new perspective!!

      🙂

    • Hiya Julie, all of that!! Thank you! It was an odd comparison – how much more there is than we will ever know, how “parochial” our worldview (and usually not even that – more often just our “own patch”), how all these “acts of God” are another phrase for “what about me”, and on and on.
      How inward looking we are even when “outward looking” – and yet we seek to define God and to “prove God” in terms we understand.
      And then think we can transfer that belief to others so they will believe in … an ever smaller God?

      Thank you! Your comment twinkled those words from somewhere. More pondering! 🙂

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