Nothing says summer like sun-warmed strawberries clinging to the vine. My boys had great fun yesterday picking strawberries with their grandma. Naturally, more went to their little tummies then actually in the bowl. The novelty of pulling them from the vine far outweighs sneaking them from the plastic container Mama brings from the grocery store. This morning I passed by the bowl of leftover strawberries and noticed how quickly they had turned from the small, bright, red burst of sweetness to a smaller, dull, shriveled burst of...mush. Not so appealing today. Away from the life-giving vine, the strawberry doesn't hold it's appeal for long. I recognize the same process in my life. There are times in my life that I let doubts, fears, routines, grudges, anger and bitterness cut me off from the Vine. I forget about God's glory in my life, His provision, most importantly, His life-giving Love. It doesn't take long for me to shrivel. It's funny how often I think I can do it without His help.
John 15 (The Message) says;
4"Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
5-8"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing...
9-10"I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done—kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love."
My prayer for you and myself today is that we stay connected. Stay bright. Stay flavorful. Cling to the vine. :) Happy summer!