“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD . . . He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
A dear religious friend tells the story of an unbelievably hardy grapevine discovered in London, England in the late 1880s. This grapevine was so incredible because it bore an unprecedented 2,000+ clusters of grapes each season, while a normal grape typically produced 30-80 clusters in the same timeframe.
When Sister’s friends traveled to England, she asked them if they could possibly track down any information about this inconceivably fertile vine. Amazingly, not only did her friends find the miracle plant, they returned with pictures proving its existence and abundant harvest that continues to present day.
The grapevine in question found a way to not just survive but thrive for well over a hundred years despite seasons of drought, insect attacks, and the harsh realities of war, producing copious amounts of tantalizing fruit that left the neighboring grapevines in the proverbial dust.
So, how in the world did the “little grapevine that could” unceasingly yield good fruit regardless its circumstances and surroundings?
Eventually, curiosity got the better of some researchers, who finally tapped the vine’s root system to see if it offered any clues to the plant’s enduring success. What they discovered was that the roots had grown and traveled over the expanse of an entire mile until they finally took purchase in the nutrient-rich banks of the River Thames. Its roots, firmly planted in life-sustaining soil, thrived.
The parallels between the English grapevine to our own lives are clear—as today’s readings tell us, if we are firmly rooted with our trust in God, absolutely nothing will shake us. Pain, suffering, dryness of spirit, and even death will threaten to overcome us, yet our trust in God will allow us to bear much fruit in our lives.
Today, ask yourself the question: Do I trust God? Really trust Him? With all areas of my life? Ask Him to help you overcome any fears and anxieties, to remove all doubt of His faithfulness. Ask Him to bring you from survival mode into a place of steadfast provision that leads to an abundance of good fruit regardless your circumstances.
God waits to refresh and sustain you with living water. Come, let us drink.
Heather Anderson Renshaw is currently not drinking enough [coffee] to keep up with her five young kiddos in the Pacific NW. You can find out more about her here.