Saturday, April 28, 2018
Ann Suriano Has Something To Say
When I read “I AM THE VINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES” I immediately began seeing an embryo in its’ mother’s womb. I sat there and questioned, how does this vision connect with the scripture verse. Immediately I saw the answer as I noticed the mother’s umbilical cord, the embryo’s only source of nurturance and survival for nine months. It was clear, the vine represents our spiritual umbilical cord connecting us to God through Jesus and just like the embryo is dependent on its’ mother for survival, we are dependent on the vine for our spiritual survival.
Once again, a vision emerged, this time it was of a fully-grown woman in an embryonic sack struggling to get out. She is frantic pounding and pushing away the sticky, slimy substance. She wants out now, just like the embryo struggles and pushes its’ way out to freedom when it has outgrown its’ limited space. This image reveals our constant lifetime struggle with our needing to be attached to our source for survival yet being repelled by the idea of dependency.
This struggle is played out over and over again throughout history and in our lives today. This tension of needing to belong yet striving for separation and individuality is a basic human instinct. It started in the womb when we had no choice in being born or where we were planted on the vine. Our desire to be separate and independent is in opposition to the security of being attached to our source of nurturance.
As humans we pride ourselves as being independent and in charge of our lives and to some extent we are by the choices we make but ultimately there are things to which we have no control, just as we had no control over the conditions and situations of our birth.
The need to be nurtured yet being repelled by the idea of dependency creates a tension in humankind and throws us into a lifetime struggle. Jesus reminds us of this struggle when he said “I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
As much as we enjoy the nurturance we receive from the vine, can we tolerate God removing someone or thing we love from our lives or putting challenges and difficulties in our path that would limit our health, finances, families or the peaceful existence of our lives. Placed in these challenging moments, what would we do? Would we trust that God does what is best for us and use the challenge to flourish in ways we never would have thought possible and bear more fruit on the vine; or would we stay frozen in the moment or crippled blaming others or God for our condition? Would our vine then be the one that withers and get thrown into the fires and burned?
Additionally, how does our profound longing for independence impact our relationships? Does our fear of dependency limit the love we give and receive because we do not want to be burdened by possible demands by the object of our love? Will we willingly give up parts of ourselves, which would limit our independence?
Expanding this further, are we afraid of being dependent on Jesus? What are we willing to give up to be closer to Him and live our lives according to His Way? Are we able to trust God the Father, the vine grower as Jesus did at Gethsemane and move forward on the unknown path that is in front of us but we don’t see it yet because we are caught up in our fears or selfishness? Where do we stand in this age of transactional relationships, especially with God?
Jesus reminds us that “you (we) are already pruned because of the word I (he) have spoken to you (us)” but we need to remain in Him so through Him we will have all that we need to survive, grow and prosper through any unforeseen disaster that comes our way.
In this scripture Jesus is calling for us to be rooted in Him (the vine) and trust Him with all of our hearts and He will bring us safely through all our darkest hours. Will we respond to His call?
After reading this scripture and meditating upon it, I began to live this question – will I be able to trust Jesus and become so rooted in Him that I will accept the Vine Grower’s pruning, no matter what it is or how difficult it may be, and push my way through all disasters in order to grow more fully and perfectly into the image of God?