And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of 30, 60, or even 100 times as much as had been planted. Mark 4:20
My father retired early and bought a small farm in the hill country of Yamhill Oregon. He would hire someone to help him off and on through the season, but mainly it was just him working the land. He had several acres of Pinot Gris grapes and a specialized variety of apple trees. The family would come out to help him at times when the workload got too heavy.
The most time-consuming job during the summer was the trimming and tying off of the grapevines. The grapes grew well in the summer with deep roots that watered them and sunshine that fed them. They would grow leaves like crazy, looking super healthy and productive, but the abundant leaves took away nourishment from the grapes. The leaves needed to be trimmed back severely in order to achieve a good harvest. After trimming we would tie the vines to wires that ran down the length of the field, attached to a post. There would be three or four wires high that would hold the vines up to allow them to get as much sun as possible, for the grapes were fed by the sun, through the leaves.
It seemed harsh to cut two and three foot sections of healthy leaves off of the vines, but oh my goodness, did those grapes grow fat and juicy! Trimming and tying back produced a great harvest.
Does any of this sound familiar to our Christian walk? As we grow in spiritual maturity our roots grow deep through the word of God, and the people around us can see we have changed as a godly lifestyle brings abundant blessings of its own.
But without the Lord’s pruning we only look good, lots of leaves, but little fruit. The Lord allows trials in our lives to help us trim off the excess and to refocus us back to Him. Trials seem harsh at the time, but they produce a harvest of righteousness.
Then the Lord redirects our lives. As the vines are tied to the wires to receive as much sunlight as possible, the Lord straightens us out, pointing us to heaven. We need as much SON – light as possible too. More time in the word, Bible study, church and fellowship.
The Lord trims our lives and keeps us growing ever upward, helping us to produce an abundant harvest. A harvest that will bring glory to God and growth to His kingdom.
Prayer: Oh Lord, I do not look forward to the times of pruning, they can be painful. But I thank you and trust you to work all things together for good as you grow me in righteousness.