I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. … No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. John 15:5
Divine: a word that is filled with meaning and beauty. Just saying the word sounds heavenly, as it should, since it actually means “from God.” We also use the word to describe something beyond excellence—like “that chocolate cake was divine,” (or to keep on a healthy note, “that succulent orange was divine”). So, now just two lines into this week’s post, you’re probably scratching your head and thinking, what does this word have to do with the photo—one that looks a bit stark and drab. But take a closer look and read on, and you may just find that this vine transforms into something divine!
I took this photo while walking on a path in one of my favorite parks with my friend Cindy. It wasn’t the only vine I’ve ever seen. However, on this cloudy winter day, looking at vines became part of meaningful moment; a moment that wrapped itself around my heart.
Cindy pointed out to me that vines are really kind of remarkable. As vines grow, they twist, grip and wrap themselves around the tree; never taking a straight path or an easy way up. And that speaks of our lives, too. We are like those vines, and life often forces us to make unexpected and unsettling turns—sometimes taking us up to too high and away from what feels comfortable. So, we hold tighter. It’s also in those times, that we intertwine with others. Have you ever tried to pull a vine off of a tree? It’s nearly impossible, especially when they are held and strengthened by other vines. It’s through the twisting and gripping that we grow, learn—and even heal. In the process, we become more beautiful and more resilient—just like the unique beauty of a vine twined around a tree.
I shared my “Divine” post with my husband, who was a bit skeptical at first. He pointed out that vines sometimes damage trees as they wrap tightly around them and head skyward. I agreed, but then immediately the Lord spoke to me: When “the life” that you wrap yourself around is that of Jesus Christ, He can take the twists and turns—and the desperation of our clinging. We can never give him too much!
And in the end, when we think we were the ones holding on tightly to him, we discover that all along, he was wrapped around and holding onto us. Now that’s divine!