Last summer my darling husband planted 3 fruit trees in our yard. 1 peach, 1 pear, 1 apple. Our apple tree, however, was the victim of a nasty neighbor who decided to jump/climb it (even though it is but a sapling). I shouldn't be so harsh. We didn't actually see anyone climbing the tree. We are just assuming. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was a strong wind that attacked my tree. There, that's nicer. Still, after this incident a large branch at the center of the tree was broken, nearly all the way through. It was just barely connected. Since it was nearing the end of the growing year, my husband decided that next spring we'd likely just need to dig it up and try again with a new one.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I walked around the yard looking at signs of spring and saw my lovely apple tree in blossom...even on the broken branch.
The beautiful flowers over this branch that we had assumed was dead was such a sign of hope for me. John 15:2 and 5 remind us that Jesus is our true vine and we are the branches. Every branch that abides in the vine will bear fruit. This passage always conjures up the picture of a solid connection, deeply rooted, firmly grafted. This is true enough. And quite often I find myself in such a solid place that this verse is a comfort.
Still other times though, I feel rather disconnected. I feel like I'm wandering away and that I've broken fellowship with the Lord. In these times, this passage is terrifying. How connected , or how unconnected, have I been over my life? How much fruit, or lack of it, is showing in my life? In those broken days, is there any of the Spirit still at work in me?
And then I see those beautiful flowers on my broken apple tree, and I feel hope. The Lord is strong enough to hold on to me tight, and His Spirit is living enough to fill me up, even when I am feeling disconnected. It is because of Him, not me, that I bear fruit. It is because of Him, not me, that I have life.
I know that this spring, as we tend to our broken branch and graft it a little tighter to the main trunk, that branch will grow healthier, stronger, and more likely to bear much fruit. As I bind myself more tightly to my Lord, and graft myself into His wounds, I know that I too will grow stronger and more fruitful.
But in the meantime, those wee blossoms remind me, that once I am in the palm of the Lord, no one can snatch me away and His life is still flowing in my veins. Thank You Lord.