My husband thought the new picture I put on my blog header was too dead looking. I pondered for a moment to consider his opinion. Then I answered him back, "It's not dead, it's winter." Sometimes winter causes things to look dead, but really, they're only sleeping. They are taking a rest from their labor, in preparation for the work ahead. The grape vine I chose for my blog header is not dead. Right now it has buds just ready to burst forth with life. It's waiting for the "go ahead," for that appointed time when the work begins again. When each branch in the vine will send forth its little branches and leaves, and fruit.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Sometimes in life we go through periods similar to winter, perhaps a winter of the soul. When we're dormant in our activities, and it feels like we aren't growing. Perhaps something happened to us that caused us to be put out of commission temporarily, or slowed down. We may feel a little bit dead, or useless, but in reality God has brought us to a state of waiting...resting...and being still. Just like the grapevine, there is work ahead of us and we are being prepared for it.
It can be a time of growing on the inside, in the hidden places of the heart. A time of trusting God and His plans for our lives, knowing that He is doing a work in us that will burst forth with life, like new leaves on the vine. As we draw closer to Him, and seek His face (being still and knowing He is God), His work in us will grow and mature, and bring forth fruit.
The picture of the bare vine may look sad to you, but to me it is a reminder of the promises and goodness of God. Because year after year I've seen what He has done through the vine. He has always been faithful to bring the leaves of spring after the cold barren winter, followed by summer's abundance of fruit as His many blessings overflow into the baskets of autumn.
Just as we can count on the seasons changing every year, we can also count on the faithfulness of God to bring us through those quiet times of waiting on Him. New buds will soon appear on the branches of our lives and God’s goodness will burst forth with spring blossoms; replacing our winter of the soul.