How are you? I’m well.
On December 20, 2020, I read John chapter five and picked up the verse one and two for my contemplative prayer.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
It is one of the most frequently read and spoken verses in Sunday sermons. And I’ve heard of being pruned many times. Pruning is painful, but we must be pruned to be fruitful. Yet while I was praying the Scriptures and meditating on them, the Lord made me realize it is not only a branch that feels pains of being pruned. The vine feels all the pain when each branch is pruned, and unfruitful branches are taken away. They are cut off from its body and the vine still has the sores after the branches are cut off and taken away. It never dawned on me earlier that the vine has the pains in the process of pruning too. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) When we go through the process of crucifying ourselves and laying ourselves on the altar, Jesus already knows what it would feel like, as He has been there: choosing to obey the authority; washing someone’s dirty feet; keeping our mouth shut even when we are treated unjustly. He already knows what they feel like.
What about the vinedresser? Have you ever thought of the farmer’s labor to prune in order to have many fruits in harvest? After my prayer, I became so curious about vine pruning. Though it’s my dream to farm and do gardening, I know I’m a total novice. And I wanted to learn vine pruning, in order to understand the Scriptures more. When I searched and found out a video online, I watched farmers prune so many branches beyond my expectation. A farmer in the video mentioned that pruning is the most time-consuming work during the year. Watching the pruning process, I could imagine what the farmer said would be true. Our Heavenly Father is a patient vinedresser indeed. He not only gives the vine water and shades, but He also takes much of His time to prune branches. He wants to harvest many delicious fruits for the best quality of wine.
In Korea, we have a proverb, “Deeper sores to the parent with a rod than to the child in chastisement.” Today, I would like to encourage you to take some moments to meditate on the labor of the vinedresser and the pain of the vine. I pray that we have a thankful heart to our patient Father and the precious blood of Jesus when we go through being chastised and pruned. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control may be ours, I pray in Jesus’ name.
Have a bliss!
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.