Encouraged to Bend Down: ”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. What is it exactly that we picture ourselves doing when we’re connected to the vine? People seem to function and do things apart from the vine of Jesus like working, sleeping, buy Christmas presents ect. So what is this talking about? “apart from me you can do nothing” speaks to me of a deeper kind of living, a different kind of doing. We can do no good apart from Christ, nothing lasting, nothing we can say was truly fulfilling when we’re on our deathbeds. I plant sunflowers each year, as I watch them grow I learn spiritual lesson each time. Here’s the story for two sunflowers this year: The first thing to note is that I didn’t plant them, a bird must have and they grew bigger and stronger than the sunflowers I planted. I didn’t know what they were sunflowers at first and almost pulled them. Second, they were vigilant in following the sun all day long for weeks with their huge heads and I said to myself “Lord, let me be like these sunflowers following the sun”. Third, they started to become heavy with seed, now as the sun goes by each day they have their heads to the earth. Fourth, they are not dead because they are connected to the stem, but they are producing seeds to be planted or consumed. I look at them sadly because I know they are coming to the end of their beauty, but when I remembered that they were producing seeds it reminded me of our lives here on earth. I understood the lesson and responded, “Lord, let it be done to me as well to produce seeds for you even if it means I am to be encouraged by bending down knowing it means life for others.” We live such a short time, so will we be encouraged to bend down when this world tells us to lift ourselves up, will we stay connected and produce seeds to plant in other’s hearts?