John 15: 1-2 I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
In our yard, my husband has a small vegetable garden and I have three rose bushes. We’ve already gotten two tomatoes with more coming. The flowers are the same way, they came into bloom, died out and have now returned.
Whenever I walk by the garden and flowers, I check for leaves that look unhealthy or as though little critters chewed on them. If any part of the plant is damaged, it gets snapped off and thrown away.
The corrupted limbs and leaves are no longer of use, so they are discarded. The life that once flowed to each part, now only goes to those still attached to the main vine.
A few years ago, there was a group of three women I considered to be pretty good friends. Our husbands worked together, so it was through them we were introduced.
One who lived in the city where I am now, was here first, so she took me around different places and we became better acquainted.
Enter the second lady. Her husband asked if I would mind going over there to hang out with her at their pool, because she didn’t know anyone in the area.
After a bit, I introduced them to one another, then when the third lady moved into town, the three of us adopted her into our little group as well.
The four of us would go out to eat and shop, sometimes two or three times a month. They were all about the same age. I was ten years their younger, so sometimes in conversations, one would make reference to things that pertained to their generation, so I just sat back and listened to them reminisce.
Things took some unfortunate and unexpected turns over the next few months and years. One husband suffered and passed away with cancer and another found another job, but it was close enough, they did not have to move. Lastly, the third man retired early due to non-life-threatening health concerns. My husband was the only one of the four still working at the plant.
Without going into detail, mostly because I do not know any, really, at some point, none of the women returned my many ways of reaching out to them. I thought that my friendship meant something to each of them. I never knew or heard from any of them about what caused the sudden abandonment of the relationship. I could see on social media that the three of them continued socializing, so I was hurt and confused.
It has taken some time (and as evident, the subject is still touchy), but the Lord has shown me that I did not need any of them in my life. My children and husband helped me by encouraging me to back away and leave things alone.
As I look back now, when we were together, we talked about people in the company, one dishing out gossip on just about anyone we knew there, and the others of us took it in and contributed where we could.
They also enjoyed the afternoon talk shows and some “reality” garbage which they discussed until I was usually ready to go home.
Maintaining these relationships, I can see now, would have caused more damage than good. I apparently wasn’t willing to pull those leaves from my plant. God showed me that whether listening or speaking gossip, I was still participating and it needed to stop.
Our Father does not sit in Heaven, wondering how He can get us out of a situation that we are unwilling or think ourselves, unable to escape. Our Merciful Lord delivers us from people, places and things for our benefit, even if and when we can’t see it.
Is there someone or something the Lord has pruned or is in the process of releasing you from today? Don’t be stubborn and unwilling to let go.
Thank You for this and every day You’ve given us
Please forgive us for holding on where we should release
We ask Your strength to leave behind whatever it is You tell us to abandon
Our focus needs to be on You, Lord, and those things concerning our walk with You
Please don’t let things hinder our way
We need direction to realize and acknowledge that Your Will is perfect, not our own
Thank You for everything in life that You have blessed us with until now
And we ask to continue through life with an even more appreciative heart.
Help our disobedience, Lord
Please let what we say and the things we do, bring glory to You!
It is only through our life being fused with Yours
That we are able to produce fruit
May our lives be fruitful and pleasing to You
In the Name of Jesus