Our former neighbors, Earl and Judy, gave us a concord grape vine before they moved down to California several years ago. They knew I liked to keep a garden and they knew I'd be tickled to have this vine in our yard. And I was. We kept it in its lovely Tuscan pot for the first year and finally decided to plant it by our deck near the vegetable garden the following year. Last summer, it finally produced its first cluster of grapes. We were thrilled! We knew we'd likely get more clusters this year, but had no idea our fruit would multiply as much as it has. We've got near 20 clusters of green grapes growing on our vine! I keep checking on it and marveling. It seems I haven't tended it like I should. It seems the crummy weather this summer should have spoiled our crop. It seems we shouldn't have faired as well as we have.
I couldn't help but think of Jesus' words as I pondered these things.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown in the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you , that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.