Day 11

I Am the True Vine

from the I Am: Statements of Our Savior reading plan


John 15:1-17, Leviticus 26:3-13, Hosea 14:4-8, Galatians 5:22-23

BY Rebekah Lyons

A few Septembers ago, one lazy afternoon during Shabbat, I strolled along a path through a biblical garden in Israel. We’d been there for a week, staying at that gorgeous kibbutz overlooking the Emmaus road, inspired by the garden and the community that lived and worked there.

As I walked alone, the wind picked up from the east, fast and furious. I stopped in my tracks, as if Jesus were about to stroll around the bend, white robe and hair flowing, to offer me a bear hug. A girl can dream, yes? Minutes later, my eyes landed on a branch dangling in front of me; I was standing beneath a grape arbor canopied with a roof of vines overhead.

I looked more closely and noticed a tiny leaf, torn almost in two. At the bottom of the leaf, a green vine had wrapped itself in a ball around the torn part, binding the tear and holding the leaf close against itself. I got choked up. For years I suffered with panic disorder while living in New York City, and I’d always describe myself as “untethered,” flailing and fleeting like that torn leaf.

I ran to gather the rest of my group, to show them this gift of analogy. Our guide, Arie, joined us with bright eyes and zeal, eager for any teachable moment. He shared that the nature of the vine when it touches something, is to begin wrapping itself around it, making them one.

That year, I’d been reading Dutch missionary Andrew Murray’s book, Abide in Christ, excavating my soul and learning how this vine-and-branch thing works. My encounter with the little vine that day reminded me of this passage from Murray’s book: “My entire life, I thought my closeness with Jesus was dependent upon me. But Jesus’s love draws us in for one thing: to come into His presence and His rest. That’s it. How many of us could use a little soul rest? And when we do come, the Vine takes the reins from there; He pulls us close and tethers us to Himself.”

The greatness doesn’t stop there. This tethering becomes provision, meaning all the nutrients of heaven are offered to us right now, to renew us and bring us back to life. Jesus gives us everything we need in life to push back the darkness (2 Peter 1:3). He is “the true vine” who gently binds us to Himself (John 15:1). He brings forth fruit, grown from the life He’s given us, to then bring nourishment to the world. Jesus does it all. Fruit never comes from our own making—it grows to the measure we let Him grow it in us (v.5).

What a beautiful relief! The old covenant was about what we bring to Him—our annual offering, our covering of sin to become restored with God—but the new covenant is all about what Jesus brings to us. His offering. His blood to cover our sin. His righteousness credited to us, declaring us right with God. May we stop striving today and rest in the grip of the Vine’s loving-kindness.

Post Comments (25)

25 thoughts on "I Am the True Vine"

  1. Chelsie Hansen says:

    I really needed to read these scriptures and encouragement. I’m having a really hard time just trusting God and all the changes and difficult circumstances that have been happened to me and around me. It’s caused me to strive in trying to make things right or take control instead of resting the Vine. May I truly stop striving today and rest in the grip of the Vines loving-kindness.

  2. Audrey Flores says:

    Since I have found out that I am moving to a new country I had felt “untethered.” Not really part of mine anymore but not part of his either. This is such a beautiful reminder that I need to be resting in Jesus. Going to Jesus when I feel this way and He will heal me. I loved today’s devotional as with my anxiety disorders I forget that it’s not me who heals it but Him.

  3. Susan Crocker says:

    Thank you for this healing picture of Jesus as the vine we must abide in!

  4. Mari V says:

    “Fruit never comes from our own making. It grows to the measure we let Him grow it in us .” Thank you Rebecca for these wise words. May I always be in a place that I let God keep growing me. I pray I may never let pride set in. I give God ALL the glory!

  5. Courtney says:

    Churchmouse:

    I pray and mourn the loss of precious lives as the enemy wars against our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we serve a just and faithful God and this battle is His, not ours. That is not to say we sit back and do nothing. NO! As Christians, we must always speak up for what is right. However, after we have done all that we can, we must trust in HIM, our righteous and just God, who does all things with precision and perfection.

  6. Courtney says:

    Angie:

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and what you’ve learned from others. It is all truly edifying.

  7. Kathy says:

    Sometimes just being able to put words to how I am feeling is a step towards feeling better. Untethered, when I read that word this morning it was one of those light bulb moments. That’s exactly how I have felt the last few days. My mom passed away in February and there are days when it feels like it just happened. My dad is healthy but his memory is slowly fading away – not Alzheimer’s just what happens as you age. He’s not the dad I grew up with. Just a slow decline. And I have felt untethered.
    Thank you, Rebecca, for putting into words how I feel. And thank You, Jesus, for this reminder that when I come You promise to take over and pull me close. Thank You that all “the nutrients of heaven are offered to us right now, to renew us and bring us back to life.” It is truly all about You and what You have brought us – life through Your death.
    Have a blessed day, sisters. Your words mean more to me than you will ever know.

  8. susan says:

    Thank you. This has provided balm for my soul today.

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