God tells us in His Word,
I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
I know what this scripture says about the branch or branches. We are the branches. OK, I get that. However, this branch feels a bit tattered and torn. Not torn away from the Vine, no, that is not what I mean. Just tattered and torn a bit. As if the ends of this branch are frayed a bit. You see, I was hired two months ago by a company and I loved… LOVED my new job. It was a Training position and I had waited five years for this… another training position. You see, I was laid off 12-2009 and could not get back into the field. I have been a trainer or project manager of some sort for about … well, let’s just say, many years. I was longing to get back into training and this was my chance. I was traveling and loved that too! Nonetheless, it came to an end yesterday morning at around 9:00 am. Yep, my perfect job was coming to a crashing, screaming halt and I didn’t know why! The thought … “But This Was The Perfect Job That God Gave Me!” “This is the door that He opened for me, so it was the perfect job!” “WHY IS THIS COMING TO AN END?!” entered my mind more than once, or twice. I actually told God the day after the interview three months ago that I didn’t want this job. I was concerned about the stress it would be on my already bad back and neck. So, what happens? I get a call 4 days later with an offer. I said … “But God!? What are you doing? I waited for five years and this is the one I said I DIDN’T WANT! But You are going to open this door!?” OK, I humbled myself and accepted the challenge. I did rather well, I thought. Yet, two months into the job, the “door” is slammed shut!? OK… GOD… NOW WHAT?!
So, I am feeling a bit tattered and frayed at the ends. Looking back to the time after I was laid off in 2009… I went without work for 2 ½ years, then was in a call center for another 2 ½ years and then the perfect job, and NOW IT IS CRASHING DOWN AROUND MY EARS!? Yes, God allowed this – but I don’t believe He caused it, and I DO NOT know why! I may never know, but I will still be Abiding in the Vine.
Although I am feeling a bit tattered and torn, I do know one thing. My God will NEVER let me go! I am stuck better than glue to the VINE. No matter how much I kick and scream and question, I will never be severed from the One True Vine. He knows my weaknesses and He knows my strengths. He created me… as the Psalmist says…
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
This beautiful Psalm was written, of course, by the shepherd, the king, the man after God’s own heart, David. He knew God very well and obviously knew that God knew him very well also. I know this too. I know that God knows my anxious thoughts. I also know that God knows my faith in Him is intact. That does not mean that this “branch” still doesn’t feel a bit tattered and frayed at the ends due to someone else’s actions. Let’s face it, pruning is painful but necessary.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
But I don’t know where the pruning should be done. However, I know the Vinedresser, personally. He knows where the pruning needs to be and when. I will always be found “Abiding In The Vine” and I do know another thing, I know my God can restore anything eaten by moths. Anything the enemy destroys, God can put back together better than ever. Yes, I am a bit tattered and frayed at the ends but I have great faith in my God that He will restore tenfold! He promises to provide and take care of His own and I am His – without a doubt! I AM HIS! I know He loves me so much! I know He calls me His beloved!
The Video – I Am His and He is Mine – Amy Shreve