I recently bought some grapes and couldn’t wait to eat them. They were dark purple which signaled promises of juicy sweetness.
As soon as I could, I tore into the plastic and grabbed a handful. Sticking them under water, I selected one, inspecting it briefly before I popped it in, only to find…a hole? How did that get there?
Disappointed, I grabbed another. There was another hole and so it was with the other and the next. To my utter dismay, there wasn’t a single grape in the handful that was hole-free.
I’d bought a bunch of holey grapes.
We too are like that, you know.
We all have the potential to be fruitful for Christ; showcasing His character to the world. But all of us are holey. Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned…”
We fall short daily; we are in no way perfect.
Unlike my grapes which had to be thrown away, the Master Gardener doesn’t just discard us. He wants to work with us.
In John 15:1-2 (CSB) Jesus says, “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that produces no fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.”
When a gardener prunes a tree, it is to encourage its growth and production; he or she removes the dead and useless parts to make way for something alive and useful.
God wants us to be fruitful, but for that to happen He must rid us of the negative things in our lives.
We must be willing however, to give them up.
Many times the pruning process is painful and prolonged.
Whether it is a dead branch or overgrown branches, they are still part of the tree and it may take some time to remove them.
Similarly, our bad habits may be so engrained in us that it may be difficult to let go of them.
Thankfully 2 Peter 3:9 (CSB) reminds us that, “The Lord…is patient…not wanting any to perish…”
Jesus’s victory on this sin-filled earth was inextricably linked to His willingness to submit to His Father’s plan. Will we do the same?