Stay connected to the Vine

Published 10:00 am Sunday, July 24, 2022

Some might consider me deprived for having grown through childhood without a park playground and city pool. That would be a wasted consideration. The forests surrounding our home place were an elaborate playground equipped with trees for climbing, giant rock formations for imaginary sailing vessels and a wading stream for cornering crawfish and building dams.

The water in my granddaddy’s pond wasn’t clear, and its muddy bottom always squished between my toes, but my tire inner tube floated me through some happy times there. That body of water was also where I learned to swim without fear of snakes or what might be swimming inches below the dark surface.

The bonus of the forest playground was finding an overgrown vine dangling from high up in a jumbo tree. There was nothing more thrilling than getting a running start with a two-handed grip on that vine and swinging into heights I couldn’t climb. Part of the thrill of those sailing adventures was knowing the vine wasn’t always securely anchored in the tree top and you were totally dependent upon a sibling to keep you from slamming into the tree on the ride back! The failure of the vine or the sibling made the ride a daring act of courage, but we knew it was worth the gamble.

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Reminiscing about the joys of the “vine” began this week with a devotional I read by J. H. Jowett concerning the vine and the branch that Jesus taught in the book of John. Even a child understands that the branch is nothing without the vine. Jesus tried to instill the necessary truth that we need the Lord. As long as we stay attached to or abide in the vine, we produce fruit — naturally. The vine supplies us with everything we need to live life glorifying our Savior, and fruit will be a byproduct of the branch staying attached to the Vine.

That thought was not new to me. Then Jowett continued, “And my Lord needs me.” That thought halted my reading. Our omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God doesn’t need anything — not really. Yet I understood what Jowett was saying as I pondered his thoughts. The Vine expresses itself in the branch. The leaves, flowers and fruit display what our God can do with a branch that stays connected. How else do people who don’t know the power and love of our Lord come to know what His power and love can do in a believer’s life?

I closed the book with a new image of the Vine. God could choose any object to praise and glorify Him, but He chooses us — finite individuals through whom God wants to reveal His glory.

As a child vine-swinger, I had more than one fearful collapse of the vine that threw me on my back, gasping for air. We could never be truly positive of the vine’s security.

Unlike those vines that stretched into the trees, our true Vine will never collapse or cause us to fall. As long as we abide and trust in His faithfulness, He will carry us into heights we could never have imagined.

Camille Anding, P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602.