I was driving into my garage, trying to get in without taking off a side mirror, when something white caught at my side vision. I stopped and felt annoyed that someone had thrown what seemed to be a tissue out onto my bushes, but when I got out of the car I became annoyed with myself because my gardenia bushes had bloomed and I, always in a hurry, had missed it! As I walked toward the bush the beautiful soft fragrance greeted my nostrils and it gave my soul a moment of sweet peace along with memories of gardenias given to me in the past. I walked over and took one of the soft, creamy white blossoms between my fingers to pluck off and take upstairs with me, but the little brown stick that held it’s blossom would not let go so easily. That was when I had an epiphany, a light bulb moment!
A favorite scripture, words spoken from the lips of Jesus, words that could open all the world of answered prayers to us, John chapter 15, it begins, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
Looking at that little white flower perched high on that brown, wooden stick I thought what a miracle of nature it is for that little blossom to be born of that brown stick which was coming up from the dirt out of the ground, with its shiny green leaves surrounding it, HOW? You plant something that looks like nothing and from it this beautiful fragrant flower grows, and where did the fragrance come from? I looked up at the larger, less fragrant version, the magnolia tree growing close by and stood gazing like a small child seeing something for the first time, ever. How had I missed it?
I have read that scripture over so many times, how had I missed it? We don’t have to understand how it is that Jesus is the vine, we are the branches and we don’t have to wonder where our fruit will come from, it is inherent, comes from within us. Jesus is in God, we are in Jesus, the fruit will come from us, the fruit that believing on Him, trusting in Him, showing people His light and fragrance through ourselves!
When we do that then we will have the “fruit of the Spirit” love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, Galatians 5:22-23. I cannot explain how it happens, John 17 Jesus prays and says to His Father, You are in Me, I am in You we are in them (paraphrased).
It seems like a mystery and then you look at the simple example of beauty growing from the ordinary, fragrance growing from the dirt, a tomato growing from a vine that is planted in the dirt, which I can pluck and eat! Would I eat the dirt? No, but the fruit is delicious.
I don’t know if this hits you the way it did me, but realize that you and I are planted in the dirt of this earth to bring forth beautiful and fragrant fruit. Let the first fruit be from our lips be worship for the most high God!