by Nan Jones

The gnarled vine, thick as a young tree, ribboned its way to the trellis. Disease was showing in some of the broken places. Grapes born in previous years had cluttered the vine and then died before reaching maturity. The fruit was inedible. Lots of leaves had given the appearance of vitality and purpose, but the fruit was pointless.

Last February my son and neighbor took shears to the ancient vine. They cut and pruned and tossed gorgeous grapevine down the hill.

They broke my heart.

I loved the grapevine and its tenacity to keep on keeping on.

And now it lay in a broken mess, stripped to the bare bones.

As spring arrived, I had my doubts. Trees budded. Grass greened. Flowers burst with color. But my grapevine clung to the trellis. Bare. Silent.

I thought of my own season of pruning. Unemployment. Fibromyalgia. False accusations destroying ministry. I thought of how I lay sheared, clinging to the cross. Bare. Silent. I wondered if my life would ever produce abundant fruit for God’s Kingdom again.

My doubts troubled me like my beautiful grapevine lying silent against the trellis.

March came and went.
April came and went.
May is almost over and now…now…shiny, new leaves of chartreuse and dusty rose are popping out along the graceful tendrils of the vine. Beneath clusters of leaves are teeny clusters of newborn grapes basking in the sunlight, breathing the abundant air that circulates around them. They appear strong. Healthy. Determined.

I’m reminded of Isaiah 61:10-11,

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; 
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, 
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, 
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, 
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

“For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, 
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, 
so [surely] the Lord God will cause 
rightness and justice and praise to spring forth 
before all the nations 
[through the self-fulfilling power of His word]” (AMP). 

As surely as the earth brings forth its shoots and the grapevine releases new growth, the Lord, through the power of His Word, will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth in my life, regardless of the present silence. He is faithful. He is good. His Word that goes forth will not return void.

And what He does for me, He will do for you, for the Lord our God is no respecter of persons. 

You are His special treasure, His fruit-bearer. He will take away the excess to create stronger and more vibrant fruit because you have been faithful in your devotion to Him.

Listen to the silence. In the silence of waiting He speaks. 

Tweetables to Encourage Others

Are you in a season of waiting? @NanJonesAuthor encourages you to listen to the silence. (Click to Tweet)

Listen to the silence. In the silence of waiting He speaks. (Click to Tweet)

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