Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
A few months ago I came across a plant sale. Most of the plants on this rack looked a little pathetic. However, some rose trees in the back caught my eye. There were no roses, only some slightly yellowed leaves on a couple of tiny trees. Most people had passed on them because they were not very remarkable. I then remembered a friend’s rose tree.
My friend’s tree is quite outstanding. The roses are gorgeous, and she constantly receives compliments on this wonderful tree. Knowing what her tree looked like, I decided to go ahead and buy a few of these little trees. I knew that my bargain trees would need some special care. But I also knew what they could be!
I realized that sometimes I feel the way the bargain roses looked. I feel defeated and unproductive. I feel withered and powerless. I listen to the enemy’s lies and allow myself to wallow in my own areas of weakness. I allow myself to disconnect from my spiritual nourishment, from the presence of my Father.
What happens when I drink in the Word of God and be filled with Him? I exchange my weakness for His strength. I allow His beauty to shine through me. There’s really nothing good in me except for the beauty of the Lord. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
What happened to my little rose trees? Now they look like a million bucks! With their roots reaching deep into the rich soil and daily nourishment from the sun and water, the dark green leaves are growing, and the trees are covered in roses.
Lord, remind me when I feel defeated that you see me not as who I feel I am, but who I am in you.