As I was sitting and feeding a lady at work, she looks at me and says, “There is this vine that keeps running out of my nose and I can’t get rid of it, it just keeps growing.”
Oh the wonderments of dementia! And the laughs that came in that moment. Though I laughed heartily for a minute that I very nearily offended her greatly, today I pondered her statement, the Lord allows these statements to teach those who seek to be taught.
She of course was talking about her life support, which is the oxygen tube that was running out of her nose. To me, He was speaking to me about His life support, His Holy Spirit. Am I fighting His life giving power? (This also reminded me of Solomon in Ecc. 8:17, 11:5,6 He is the potter and we are the clay. We cannot control the works of God or the way the vine is to grow within us, but only that we are sowing to the Spirit.)
This is His chastening, though I am tempted to walk wayward at times and without understanding, He chastens me to keep me plugged in. The great love He has for us. Just like, every aide or nurse in the building will plug her back into her life support after she has fought against the “strange” thing and pulled it out, He does the same with us.
James tells us we will come across many “strange” temptations. But are they really strange? Or are they opportunities to become more rooted and grounded in Him? When a body is used to walking in its previous ways, it will try to continue in that way. But who is stronger in me, the works of my body, or my heart given over to Him? Whom will I obey? That which we have known from before, or the new law of love and obedience to our Saviour?
Do not, then, allow sin to establish any power over your mortal bodies in making you give way to its lusts. Nor hand over your bodily parts to be, as it were, weapons of evil for the devil’s purposes. But, like men rescued from certain death, put yourselves in God’s hands as weapons of good for his own purposes. Rom. 6:12,13 Phillips
Just like this lady at work, without her life support, she would become very weak, and possibly even die from lack of oxygen, because her body is not capable of supporting itself. “Her strength is almost gone.” Just like we, who live in the flesh, know the weakness of it, and will surely die, without the help of the Holy Spirit.
James calls “temptations” strange, as they should be called. Jesus is no stranger to us, He calls us by name! But it’s those things on the outside that are “strange.” But to this lady, her life support was strange, because she had not understanding of why it was there. If her capabilities were available to her to understand her need to keep the “vine” in her nose, I am sure she would not have thought it strange. However, it was the slowness of her understanding that disabled her ability to grasp the concept. How fortunate we are, that we are able to “renew our minds” so that we may understand our need for Him, and that He is “unwilling” to keep us in the dark. Therefore, let us NOT “neglect so great a salvation” for in Him only all the fullness dwells, in which He is fully willing to “give.” Do we spend our days getting to know Him by faith? Or seeking in pursuit of other things?
“Wondrous parable of the Vine-unveiling the mysteries of the Divine love, of the heavenly life, of the world of Spirit-how little have I understood thee! Jesus the living Vine in heaven, and I the living branch on earth! How-little have I understood how great my need, but also how perfect my claim, to all His fullness! How little understood, how great His need, but also how perfect His claim, to my emptiness! Let me, in its beautiful light, study the wondrous union between Jesus and His people, until it becomes to me the guide into full communion with my beloved Lord.” – Andrew Murray