Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Vines (11/21/05)
TITLE: The Cost of Fruit
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“Am I doing the right thing?” She wondered.
“How do I know for sure?” She questioned.
Her thoughts broke as she heard the minister say, “You’re dying on the vine. You’ve lost heart.” This came in the middle of a sermon on ministry. He told the story of the Apostle Paul and perseverance as he urged people to press on amidst change.
She thought about his statement and her situation. Contemplating a move to a new home, precipitated by a bigger move to end her corporate career in favor of being a full-time mom, she felt overwhelmed by fear. It was cutting her off, as a withered branch, lifeless and waiting to be burned in the fire.
“Is this what I am, Lord- a dying vine?” She asked.
The voice surprised her. He said firmly, “I want you to die.”
She sat motionless and alarmed, “What! Lord, Why?”
The voice was powerful, “I am the true vine, abide in me!”
Confused, she pondered what she heard as tears fell to her lap. She could almost hear them fall, tap.... tap.... as the weight of her guilt settled upon her. All of this time, she had been second guessing everything and doubting what she knew God had led her to do in the first place. She knew in her heart He wanted this change for her family. Her unbelief was costing her fruit. She sat in deep awe at God’s kindness and His severity. A wild olive branch, she was grafted in by God’s grace but would not be shown preferential treatment and the cost of not bearing fruit was steep. Broken off by her doubt and indecision, she knew she must stand by faith.
The voice softly whispered, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.”
She was overwhelmed by His love. Greater love she has never known than He who laid down His life for her. Greater love she had never heard as He who chose to include her in His plans and to reveal His Father’s wisdom. Greater love is with her still as He corrects and consoles in His perfect power.
“Finish this good work that you’ve begun in me.” She earnestly prayed as she wept.
And she knew that He would.
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