No Grunting Necessary

The gardener strolls through his vineyard admiring the sea of spring foliage. Rippling in the breeze, the leaves sing promises of a bountiful year. But what’s that he keeps hearing? A grunting noise. Where is it coming from? Leaning close he discovers it’s coming from a branch!

2016 Dino Reichmuth
2016 Dino Reichmuth

“What’s this, Miss branch? Why do you grunt so? Are you unhappy in my vineyard? Am I not a caring gardener?”

“Oh dear Master, you are the most gentle and wise. The Gardener of gardeners and Lord of lords! Worthy of my utmost praise!”

“Are you ill or troubled by pests? Do you need some extra tending?”

“Oh no, Master. I’m healthy and fit. You’ve cleaned and protected me, fed and watered me. You’ve more than satisfied my every longing.”

“But, Aaaaaahg! Oooooo! uuuuuugh! Aren’t you pleased, Master, with how hard I’m working? I’m squeezing with all my might. It’s all for you and for your glory!”

“What’s this, my dear? Why are you grunting and working so hard?”

“Why to produce fruit, Master! After all you’ve done for me, I want to do my all for you.”

“Silly sweet branch! You don’t produce fruit by working so hard! My dear, the sweetest fruit is produced simply by abiding in the Vine! Rest! Drink deeply of what’s abundantly provided! No grunting is necessary. Even in the storms you are safe because the vine holds onto you.”

“Now, now! What’s this? You tremble so! Is that a tear I see? What troubles you, my dear?”

“It’s those pruning sheers I fear. Soon they will come snip-snipping along and take some of my fruit. That’s why I must work so hard. I want to produce the best looking grapes so that you won’t need to cut any off.”

“Ah, I see! Well, pruning happens to all the branches. It’s normal and it’s healthy. It lightens your load so that you can send all your sweetness into your choicest grapes. Do you think I’m most blessed with bunches of mediocre fruit or a smaller amount of premium fruit? I prune you so you can focus your resources to produce your very best.”

“So you’re not pruning me because I don’t measure up?”

“No, ma’am!”

“May I ask you, kind Gardener, do I measure up? Am I good enough?”

“You are mine! That’s all it takes to meet my standards. It’s your love I watch for. If you love me, you will obey me. Do you know how to do that?”

“Umm. I think I need a little clarification.”

“You abide in the Vine. You listen to His instructions and do what He says. He knows what you need because He listens to Me. None of this grunting and struggling to do things the way you think is best. You simply abide, listen, and obey. And while I’m thinking about it, you need to get along with the other branches.”

“That’s it? Abide, listen, and follow the Vine’s lead? Nothing else? No squeezing every ounce of nectar possible into my blossoms? No seeking the best place in the sun? No pushing myself forward to look the best?”

“That’s it, my dear. Abide. Only when you abide in the Vine, can you hear His voice. Only when you hear His voice, can you know what He wants you to do – or not do. If you doubt – and at times you will – remember you simple need to rest, drink deeply, listen, and obey. And most importantly, know deep in you soul, you are Mine.”

“Oh, and one last thing, sweet branch; you might want to read John 15.”

I Am the Vine

©Cheri Johnson August 2016


2 thoughts on “No Grunting Necessary

  1. Abide. A word so rich and yet so elusive to many of us! Thanks for sharing this—such a beautiful reminder that we don’t have to be constantly grunting to win the Father’s love. Stopping by from Hope*Writers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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