Spring is upon us! The grey rain clouds have blown away and the flowers are blooming. Everywhere I look I see the wonders of God’s creation in the varying shades of green and the lush growth. This growth includes the budding of leaves in our vineyard… all the suckers… and weeds. This year we have a daunting project before us. The vineyards planted 6 and 10 years ago will be changed over. The grapes that had been growing were not right for our “zone” and the resulting fruit was not tasty… and certainly did not produce good fruit for wine. (Or, anything else that matter).
We started with the older vineyard first. The object was to graft buds into the camber of the trunk also called the “vine”. The buds were to be cut out of the Zinfandel cuttings from our pruning kept dormant for just this time in the refrigerator. However, no matter how hard Rick tried to cut through to the camber (the living part of the vine/trunk) it couldn’t be done. Only the hardened woody part of the trunk could be accessed. These vines were just too old, too hardened. The only way to use the well-established root structure was to train up a new vine/trunk from the new growth growing from the base. For these vines, it will be two years before grafting can be done… and another 2 years before the branch will yield a harvest.
We moved on to the younger vines, testing camber access… Success! These trunks were softer and the camber could be more easily accessed. The buds could be easily grafted into these trunks. As I spent time in the vineyard with my husband over the last two weeks, God spoke to my heart using the vineyard as an example. This vineyard did not produce good fruit so we had to make drastic changes.
God also does this when we chose to become Christians and follow in the steps of Jesus who gave His life for the forgiveness of our sins. Just as we the vineyard keepers chose to keep the vines and graft in the new branches God chooses those pre-destined to enter into eternal life through grafting. We are “grafted” into the family of God becoming one of God’s chosen people. Ephesians 1:4-7
4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace…
We can now call Him Aba or Papa, Father. This is what Jesus wants. This is why He came to suffer and die so that ALL who would hear and freely chose could become a child of the living God.
Just as with our gnarly vineyard some folks grow a tough bark around the living soul. This doesn’t have to come with age in years … older/tougher can be reflective of life experiences. Hard life experiences can age/toughen an even young person and harden the “bark” around the camber of the living soul.
The alternative then is for God to grow a whole new trunk or vine, allowing a new tender vine to grow up from His roots in the soil of eternity. Eventually, this new vine will become a full trunk and be ready to accept the grafting into the family of God. Oh, how good He is! John 15:1-2
Jesus the True Vine
1“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.2“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.…
Where are you in this process? Are you the new branch that has been grafted into the family of God bearing good fruit? Or, is your living soul buried deeply beneath hurts and bruises of life… all the cold winds, rain, hail with a thick protective bark producing the wrong fruit? There is hope, God is here.. Look around He may be preparing you even now… open your heart and be grafted into everlasting life through Christ and to produce abundant fruit in the family of God… Christ’s Invitation