There is this vine that was growing EVERYWHERE in my city this summer. I never snapped a photo of it so I found one on the internet to share with you. This is how it looked when this weed started to bloom. That’s when I noticed that it had grown over all the trees and shrubs in my community. I looked out my backyard and it had taken over all the green things growing within my woods, and had creeped in to engulf my arbor and the clematis growing on it. Later in the week I watched a news report that stated this vine was some sort of cucumber vine and that it wasn’t actually suffocating anything that it was growing on. Because of our wet spring it was just provided the prime conditions to grow. That we were not to panic, that it would not kill off everything in site.
Now that the white flowers are gone; and as I look closer to my surroundings, I have noticed a few other vines that are growing on things too. This isn’t a cucumber vine. I’m not even sure what their names are, but I think they are beautiful. They have huge, dark leaves and when you look closer, you will see the very intricate fingers that curl around whatever is in close proximity.
As I walked past a neighbors yard I noticed that it had encompassed their trees and front bushes almost completely hiding whatever it was underneath.
There is no way that my neighbor would be able to remove each and every one of the fingers that have taken hold around those trees and shrubs. This vine is an intricate maze of tendrils, fingers, and growths that makes it super strong. If you try to pull off one section, then others will fill in that space. I’m presuming it would be very difficult to find where each of these vines begins, to pull them out by the roots.
These vines remind me of God’s presence in our lives. There was a time in my life when I looked at God’s presence like the nuisance of a grapevine. This “grapevine” of God tangled and entwined me, but I didn’t want it to define me. I didn’t want it to hide the “me” that I thought needed to shine to the world. I didn’t always understand God’s presence in my life. I can honestly say that sometimes I just wanted it gone. I would try to pick away at it – pull the parts of me I thought I had control of. I tried swearing, not going to church, not praying, lots of things I thought would lead to a “better me”. Luckily God’s tendrils and fingers were much too strong to destroy his presence in my life. And whenever I pulled away, he just filled in the hole with something else.
May be you are here right now. May be you are even ready to search for and tear out God’s love by the roots. I’m praying for you dear ones. Don’t do it. God’s love is forever. The things of this world that make you feel like that, are not forever. God’s love is not suffocating. It’s liberating.
Instead of looking at the vine of God’s love as a nuisance, I now look at it as a shield of protection. God’s love and protection weave in an out of every part of me. It overlaps each other inside and out. It creates this web of protection around me. It allows me the freedom to question Him, talk to Him, cry to Him, laugh with Him, celebrate with Him – all while keeping me centered to Him!
The enemy tries to come around me and poke and pull at me. Sometimes I allow the enemy to pull pieces of God far from me. But God’s love and protection just fill in those gaps making my armor stronger for the next battle. The roots of God’s love run so deep and so strong, that there is no way that the enemy can penetrate my heart, my faith, or my deep love for God. He can try. There are days I allow more pokes and pulls. But I am humbled to know the enemy will never defeat me because of God’s love and protection.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the ruler, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:10-17
Have you seen those t-shirts around that say “NOT TODAY SATAN”? I feel like I should buy one now, after I realize just how strong a hold God has on my heart and soul. He makes me strong enough and powerful enough to say NO NO – Not Today Satan!
I’m armored up.
I’m sitting in the comfort of the vine of God’s protection and love!
Next time you are driving down the road and see those vines crawling up the landscaping and light poles take a moment to say a prayer of thankfulness for God’s vine of love and protection surrounding you.
Remember that God’s got you. Stop picking and pulling his tendrils of love away. He’s covering you with his love and powerful protection.
LET HIM IN my friend! LET HIM GROW my friend! LET HIM ENGULF YOU IN THE VINE OF HIS PROTECTION AND LOVE!