Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Power for Living Part 22 - Staying Connected

Our house was covered in Virginia Creeper Vine. Beautiful. Cool in summer. My Mom arrived and took upon herself the task of pruning the vine. Armed with large sheers she clipped here and cut there, giving shape and definition. Several days after her departure we noticed one whole area of the vine was shriveling up. Dry leaves became evident and the brittle branches began to break off. One whole patch of the house was exposed! What had happened?

We looked closely. Mom had accidentally cut the main vein of the vine and the life flowing to the branches was cut off. We couldn’t notice it immediately but gradually the green turned to brown and the lack of life was evident.

It reminded me of a verse in the Bible, where Jesus said:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

“Nothing, Lord?” I used to argue when I read this verse. Of course I can do many things!! After all, we are women of the new millennium, thinkers and doers! Then the Holy Spirit spoke quietly to my heart and reminded me that apart from Him I could do nothing that had eternal value. Value for Heaven. Value in God’s economy.

Much of my thinking is done around the concerns of our material economy… to consider God’s economy and what fruit bearing looks like to Him in my life is interesting to ponder. I have found that my investment in eternal things is what brings the greatest return in my life in fulfillment of who God created me to be. If I want to be a woman of God and “bear fruit” in my life by touching others with Jesus love, by responding to my circumstances and in my relationships in the power of the Holy Spirit then I needed to stay connected to the vine.

Staying connected looks different for each of us as we pursue our own personal journey with God. But some of the ingredients stay the same. Allowing His Words to change our lives; choosing our actions and our attitudes daily; talking to God in prayer and listening for His still small voice to answer; choosing to let the Holy Spirit give us power for living… these are the things that keep us connected to the Vine.

When we, as Christian women, become too busy and too consumed with this world’s economy, it is easy to become disconnected from Jesus. The evidence soon shows in our lives in dryness of soul and brittleness of heart. And we miss Him. Our only true fulfillment comes when we are connected to Jesus and living with His economy in mind. Then He can use us to touch other’s lives with a kind word, a hug, forgiveness, compassion, peace in the midst of turmoil, generosity, or patience in chaos.

Check your leaves and branches today. Is there evidence of the life flow of Jesus through your life? If things are getting a bit dry around the edges, reconnect with Jesus, the true vine. Do that by getting alone for a bit with some worship music to dust off your soul, or read John 15 and ask His Spirit to speak to your heart; or pray for a renewed desire to be used in ways that will affect eternity. Go for a walk and pour out your heart to God. Stay connected…it’s the only way to true fulfillment!