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The Vine and the Vinedresser

I have had three rose plants in pots for years. They went in the ground last year and they are growing like “gang busters”. The number of roses, the rich, deep green of the leaves, the size of the plants themselves, tells me they are loving the red dirt they are now living in.

The increase in roses of course means the increase in “deadheading.”

I deadhead for a few reasons. It makes the plant look nicer plus mom told me years ago that it helps the plant put its energy and nutrients where it is needed most and not into a dying flower or dying leaf. But the main reason I do it is because it encourages my roses to put on more flowers. It will lengthen the blooming season and will create a hardier, healthier plant overall.

And it’s not just my roses. Most annuals love to be deadheaded. They will bloom throughout the season if you put the work in. Petunias, zinnias, echinacea, even marigolds will have a longer season if you remove the dead flower. You can do that in one of three ways; I prefer just pinching and snapping it off with my fingers. The other two ways are pruning and shearing.

Trees also require pruning and for the same reason. They will produce more fruit. Experts will tell you fruit tree pruning is important early in the tree’s life, to allow the young trees to produce thicker stems. (I think there is an analogy there somewhere about training our children while they are young.)

Pruning: to crop, clip, shear, trim, thin, cut-off, detach, remove.

Something else I love to do is train my vines, for lack of a better term. I have two varieties of Honeysuckle, two Passionflower vines, one Wisteria, two Clematis and many Morning Glory, all on one long fence line. Once a week or so I will go out to the fence line and weave into the wire fence any new strays that have grown. My hope is one day to have a 100 foot “wall” of flowers and vines.

The word vinedresser caught my eye in the follow. Jesus was talking and said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1 NKJV

I looked the word up. According to Merriam Webster, vinedresser is a person who prunes, trains, and cultivates vines.

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15: 2-8 NKJV

I read the most beautiful description of what is taking place here. I want to share that with you today.

“A vinedresser…is more than a mere farmer. Grapes are more than an annual crop. The vinedresser's grape vines remain with him for decades. He comes to know each one in a personal way, much like a shepherd with his sheep. He knows how the vine is faring from year to year and which ones are more productive or vigorous than others. He knows what they respond to and what special care certain one's need. Every vine has its own personality. And the vinedresser comes to know it over the years. The vined resser cares for each vine and nurtures it, pruning it the appropriate amount at the appropriate times, fertilizing it, lifting its branches from the ground, and propping them or tying them to the trellis, and taking measures to protect them from insects and disease.

“So, when Jesus calls His Father the Vinedresser, He is describing Him in terms of His relationship and attitude…With such a Vinedresser, the branches can experience complete confidence and security.” (Source: The Vine and the Vinedresser by E. Radmacher)

Beautiful description!

God, the vinedresser, prunes us so that we will bear more fruit, but He also does it to win our hearts and ultimately save us for eternity.

God is the vinedresser. Jesus is the vine. We the branches. We can rest in complete calm that the pruning, perhaps uncomfortable, perhaps painful, is being done for our eternal salvation. Allow the Vinedresser to do His work.

by Jeanette Stark - Friday, September 16, 2022

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