"I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit” (John 15:5)
You don’t have to be a horticultural expert to know that a branch cut from the vine will die. The vine gives life to the branches enabling them to grow.
As Christians, we are happy to remain connected to our Vine, God, when life is going well. We have the job we want, the spouse we love, and the finances we desire. We praise Him. We go to church with smiles on our faces and thankfulness in our hearts.
But when we are in pain, when we are disappointed or depressed, we tend to back away from God. We try to hide or suppress our hurt from Him as if we are only acceptable when life is great. We try to fake it because we tell ourselves that we need the happy feelings to succeed at the Christian life. And, somehow, without the happy feels, we are failing. So we lose connection.
But you don’t have to be OK. You don’t have to mask your true self. You don’t have to bury pain in order to be acceptable. Honestly – God wants all of you. Good. Bad. High. Low. Quiet. Loud. He wants it all. Just remain in Him. Keep connected to Him. Pray. Cry. Yell. Just stay connected.
In the world of Sommeliers, it is commonly known that wine made from vines that have suffered make the best wine. Through storms and droughts the roots have gone deep into the ground and the grapes produced give a rich, creative, flavor-filled wine. These vines and branches have been tried and tested, and refused to die. And the fruit they produce are distinctive and are very much sought after. These are the wines that are some of the rarest and most expensive you can find.
As we suffer, don’t shut down our hearts. The Vine Himself is suffering with us. He is digging deep wells in the spirit to sustain and nourish us. He is making us exceptional. And the fruit we produce together is going to be rich, outstanding, and priceless.
Remain in Him and you will bear much fruit. And not just OK fruit, but the best, most excellent fruit.