“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” - John 15:5
I’ve started walking my dog in the mornings and use a leash that buckles around my waist. I love it because it keeps her close to me, and I spend a whole lot less time dragging her or being pulled by her than I used to. The leash allows us to keep pace together, and as I was noticing this on one of our recent walks, I felt a familiar nudge in my heart say “Remember you are tethered to me.”
Jesus tells us in John 15:5 that if we remain or abide in him, our lives will produce fruit. I want the fruit of Christ in my life, but abiding is hard! So often I spend my time running ahead of God in my mind, overwhelmed with anxieties about the “what ifs” or trying to make plans so I feel protected and provided for in my own strength instead of relying on God. Other times, I feel a clear direction to change or do something and I keep dragging my feet, falling behind because I don’t want to do whatever it is God is prompting me to. Yet, life works so much better when I keep in step with God.
How do we do this? How do we abide? By staying tethered to Christ. We often think by being tethered, we are losing our freedom, but freedom and life actually come from staying close to Christ. For me, this looks like regularly reading my Bible, praying, and living in close relationships with other believers. I am better able to hear what God is speaking and respond in a life-giving way when I do these things.
Staying close to Christ is the best way we can navigate this long road of life. I’m praying that as we stay tethered to the Vine, we begin to see God’s goodness and fruit all throughout our life.