“I Am The Vine You Are The Branches”
A timely lesson in submission, for all.
An incident that happened on
July 24, 2005.
Sent in by a lady
correspondent in the USA.
Someone said that Jesus is as far from us as our next thought about Him.
How very true! However, have you noticed that it is very hard for us to
stay constantly connected to Him in the spirit? We tend to ‘come’ to Him
in prayer once or twice a day and while reading the Bible, but then we
just switch Him off, as a radio! This, I believe, is a reason for many
troubles we have in our lives.
This story is an example NOT to
I have a ‘gypsy bug’ in my blood. When it hits me, I must
get it out of my system! In the past we used to go to the mountains once
or twice a year. I would get lost in the woods for a couple of days,
and that would give me relief for a while. In the worst case scenario,
when we cannot go to the mountains, I go to the
High Falls National
Park about 60 miles north from us. Last Sunday I finally had both time
and weather conditions to spend half a day hiking there.
I have noticed that my day does not go well if I do not
start it with prayer. That day, to catch some of the pleasant morning
coolness, I decided to postpone my prayer until I got to the High
decision! Because of it I was not tuned in with the Spirit. Looking back
at everything that happened on that day, I can see that I ignored a
number of promptings of the Spirit, and nearly got into serious trouble.
Still at home, getting my back sack ready, I had a
thought to take a cap. Then I remembered that my hair tends to get wet
under a cap, so I decided against it. I thought that I would take a
trail in the woods, and would not need it. However, when I parked my car
at the registration office near the falls, I forgot all about my initial
intention. I saw a road I had never hiked. It seemed to be going around
the ‘lake’ and I decided to walk it instead. A small voice whispered to
me about the danger of taking roads in unknown areas, but I dismissed
I did not have a map of the area and I did not even know
what kind of a lake it was. The road was called Lakeshore Drive, and I
assumed that it would take me around the lake and back to the starting
I soon discovered that the road was going mainly through
a residential area. Most of the time I could not even get near the
shore. A few times, however, I had a chance to come close to the water
between two neighboring pieces of property. Each time it struck me as
very peculiar that I could not see the end of the lake. Several times I
had a prompting: “Turn around, go back!” Unfortunately, each time I
It began to get hot. I had four bottles of water with me
and had enough common sense to drink it the whole time. After about
forty minutes, the road ended at another two-lane road. Even though I
received another prompting to turn back, I took a right on this new road
and went on.
Another hour went by and the falls were nowhere in sight.
I went over a bridge once, thinking that it was one of the lake’s
branches. Needless to say, I did not see the lake after that. I
wondered, “What kind of a lake is it that one cannot go around?”
Finally, I found myself approaching an exit to Interstate 75. I realized
that I was lost and would have to go all the way back.
The prospect of two more hours of walking was not
attractive. By now it was about one o’clock on a hot July afternoon. I
was exhausted after the long walk in the heat without a cap, and there
was no shade on the road. I was worried. I recalled the reports I had
heard on TV about heat-related deaths.
I saw a woman mowing her lawn. Hoping to find a shortcut,
I stopped to ask her about directions to the High Falls. Her
explanation confirmed that I had to take the same road back. In my mind
I cried out: “I cannot do it! If only I could have a ride for at least
part of the way!” No more than 30 seconds later, a truck passed by and
stopped just a few yards from me. The driver, a black man between 35 and
45, asked me if I needed a ride. I was not sure what I should do. A
voice inside of me said: “Here’s your chance. It’s OK, take it.” This
time I listened to the Spirit. Relieved, I got in the truck.
The man asked me where I was going. I told him, and he
said he’d drop me off at Lakeshore Drive. The drive was short, less than
five minutes, but it saved me over three miles of walking in the
scorching heat. The man passed the Lakeshore Drive and stopped a dozen
yards further, next to another road. He told me that it would also take
me to my destination, but I was afraid to get lost again. Then he turned
his truck around and drove off in the direction from which we had just
Walking back, I thanked the Lord for being merciful to
me. On the way, I passed the road the man had recommended. I think it
was a shortcut I had wanted so badly.
When I got to the registration office, I looked at myself
in the mirror. My face was as red as a boiled lobster. I realized then
that I had just been saved from a heat stroke.
I don’t know whether I had an angelic encounter, or the
Lord used a man to get me out of my self-inflicted trouble. However, I
am absolutely sure that His hand orchestrated my rescue. Everything that
happened after I wished for a ride was simply too much for a mere
coincidence, if you ask me.
This incident has taught me three very valuable lessons:
1. It is easy to claim to be a Christian, but it is not
so easy to live one’s life as a new, spiritual being – constantly in
tune with the Spirit.
2. Jesus is always with us, just as He promised. We are
the ones who shut Him off.
3. Jesus is faithful. Despite our stubborn self-will and
self-reliance in everyday life, He is always ready to help. We just have
to give Him a chance. All we have to do is stay tuned, listen,
Jesus says that He is the good vine, and we (His
disciples) are His branches. A branch that does not receive sap from the
vine withers and dies in a matter of days! Also, if a branch received
sap only sporadically, not continually, it would wither as well. That is
why He tells us to remain in Him! His Spirit is our life-giving
sap. But do we really take His warning seriously? Do we stay connected
with Him in the Spirit at all times? Unfortunately, most of the time we
don’t, and we simply forget that He is ALWAYS with us. May the incident
that happened to me teach us all to remember that we are no longer old
beings of flesh, but new, spiritual beings in a cocoon of flesh.
[End of correspondent’s account.]
Jesus Is Waiting To Help You
The examples of Jesus’ omnipresence and
His complete care for us are many. I would like to relate just one
recent instance in my own experience.
I find most computer work rather
difficult. Having been a builder, and doing a totally different kind of
work for 17 years – manual and very physical – most computer work for me
is like learning to walk all over again! By contrast, Tonya is quick and
proficient at it, and when there is something I can’t do, I ask for her
help. She often does things with the PC that I can’t.
But on this occasion, Tonya was away. I
was having to do a computer task that I was not familiar with, and I was
bashing my head against a brick wall with it. I couldn’t ask for her
I was getting really frustrated, trying
time and time again to get the programme to work. Something that should
only take a couple of minutes was taking me over an hour! I banged the
desk in my frustration – not that it would help, but it did express my
At my wits’ end, a little thought came to
ask God for help. So I did. “Father, please show me what to do.” In the
next second, a thought came into my mind. I was staring at the screen
and the thought drew my attention to an icon. I clicked on it and it
opened up the very part that I had been looking for.
I persevered for a few more minutes, but
again I was soon flummoxed and couldn’t go any further. But, as stubborn
and independent as we humans are, I still didn’t ask God. I kept trying
in my own strength, using my own intellect. The trouble was, my
intellect was not up to the task. I was way out of my depth, being some-
what computer illiterate. (I can type, because I did a typing course at
college 33 years ago and was trained to touch-type.) Frustrated, I
banged the desk again. (I’m good at that!) Then the same thought to ask
God came back again, and I submitted myself to Him again. I should have
been doing that before, instead of trying with my own strength alone.
“Father, please help me!”
Again, without a second’s delay, a
thought came into my mind that pointed me to something on the screen.
There again, was the answer to my problem!
My prayer had been answered immediately.
How often do we try to do things by ourselves? Probably 99% of the time!
Such an example may be trite, I know. But
it illustrates the human problem of independence. We all have it. Do you
realise it denies God?
God is omniscient and all-caring. He is
so good. But if we don’t acknowledge our need for God in our times of
trouble, no matter how ‘insignificant’ they are, whom are we relying
upon? Ourselves, not God. He is not our God then. We have taken His
place, and that’s idolatry! It hurts Him terribly if we don’t rely on
Now I realise that He expects us to use
our intellect, and to do all we can with our own abilities. I’m not
suggesting we abrogate our own responsibilities.
But, when we are unable to do something
by our own ability and know-how, He is always ready and waiting to
assist, especially if it is something to help another – which it was in
this case. And when it’s something to further His Work on earth, He
never lets you down!
As the little experiences above show, He
is there for you, right at that moment! All you have to do is to call
Humble yourselves, therefore,
under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast
all your care upon Him because he cares for you (1 Pet 5:7,8, NIV).
In the bigger crises of life, He may seem to take longer
to run to your rescue, but He won’t fail you if you stand firm, resolute
in doing His will.
The Ten Virgins (£1.00)