it must remain in the vine.
Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you,
you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Earlier this week, when I was halfway through this painting, we went to visit a dear friend, and, to my surprise, she showed me her beautiful grape vine in her backyard. What I first noticed was that the trunk of the vine is thick, strong, and solid but the branches are thin, flexible, and fragile, almost like a different kind of plant shooting from the trunk. They were telling me a bit about how to grow and tend for them. Did you know that it takes about three years for the vine to bear fruit and pruning has a lot to do with fruit production?
Fun facts aside, looking at the vine this week was a reminder of how much we should rely on Jesus, and how walking on this earth is unbearable unless we remain in him – as he also remains in us. I truly cannot imagine going through my darkest valleys without him. Could you?
The most beautiful promise in these verses is that, as he remains in us, we will bear much fruit. We are not called to do it alone. I’ve been learning lately that through Jesus’ work in us we continue to bear fruit even in the most difficult circumstances. Through his power in us, even amidst a season of uncomfortable or even painful growth, we still produce fruit and still can bless others as we go.
That’s why I encourage you to go deeper in your walk with Christ this week, to seek him in different ways and open your heart to him fully. Remain in him and he’ll remain in you. This is the third and last tree from the Bible that I am painting in this mini-series. You can see the others here and here. Have a wonderful week!