2017 was a year of working really, really hard, while at the same time, practicing surrender. It was a journey of developing a blind faith and learning to trust an unknown future to a known God, sometimes forgetting who that God is – constant and good.
There were times when I was so uncertain, uncomfortable and impatient, so I took things into my own hands. I proved to myself that I am capable. I am so strong on my own. If I set my mind on something, I will make it happen. Our culture praises this kind of independence. Our God does not.
John 15:1 I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. 2He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.
All year, Jesus was pruning me. An uncomfortable, sometimes painful process, but all in order to grow and become more fruitful. But did I remain in Him like He tells us to?
4Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.
In all honesty, there were a lot of times where I walked away. “You’re taking too long. I’ll do it on my own.” “You clearly don’t know what you’re doing, I’ve got this one.”
5I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned.
It says it right there, clear as day – If you stay with Me, you’ll be more successful. If you try to do things without Me, you will wither. Isn’t it funny how, as humans, being uncomfortable and wanting to succeed leads us to step out on our own – the very thing that causes us to wither?
With a whole new year ahead of me, I’m asking myself: Am I living connected to the vine, or independent of the vine? Now that I know how much I am capable of on my own strength, I hope I stop feeling like I actually need to do things on my own.
Here’s to a year of more of that blind faith and believing for the harvest we have sewn the past year of hard work!