Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tended Roses

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” –John 15:1

The neighbor who lives in the last house at the end of the street has planted a rose garden with at least three dozen varieties of roses. They bloom in all shades of pink, red, and even yellow. There are tiny blossoms and huge flowers. Each bush is neatly labeled with a small sign stuck into the dirt. The garden is well-tended. There’s no profusion or chaos, only trim bushes and prosperous flowers. Lexi likes the smell of the dirt here (it’s the fertilizer, I think), but I don’t let her climb into the flowerbeds. She’s not usually one for digging up roses, but I don’t want her to spoil what someone obviously worked so hard to create. John 15:1 describes God as a gardener lovingly tending his vine. We are its branches. Verse 2 says, “He cuts off every branch [of the vine] that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” Sometimes this verse is cited to warn indifferent Christians. Instead, we can all be encouraged to know that God is helping us grow. Isaiah 58:11 also depicts God as a gardener:  “[The Lord] will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden….” Like my neighbor tends her roses, so God tends us. And we will become something beautiful.

Dear God, Thank you for helping me grow and blossom in faith. Amen

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