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Look for the rainbow, and remember My promise. With it I sign the covenant I have made between Me and all the living creatures residing on the earth. Genesis 9:17 (The Voice)
Thousands of meticulously pruned grapevines dotted the valley as we traveled north towards Mendocino, California one misty morning. Having harvested grapes at our local vineyard years ago, God reminded me of John 15:4-5:
Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV)
I’d been asking God big questions that day like, “What’s next?” or “Where do you want me to serve you, Lord?” Like the past, He gave me the same one word answer, “Abide.” Simply abide—to remain with, continue, and stay or to have one’s abode; to dwell or reside—with Him. Jesus promises if we make our home with him, he will make his home in us and if we remain in Him, we will bear much fruit. It’s a double promise, so wonderfully illustrated by the vineyards.
Home with Jesus is where we live perfectly loved by the One who created us and knit us together in our mother’s womb. With Jesus, we’re encouraged to be our truest selves—the person He created us to be, despite the reality of our earthly home. Abiding is a matter of the heart—where Jesus lives—not a physical place.
And then, through our loving relationship, we will bear much fruit. We don’t bear fruit through striving or demanding or wishing. We only produce fruit by remaining attached to Jesus and being ourselves—just like a grape branch only bears grapes because it’s attached to the grape vine. It doesn’t wish for fruit, or jump through hoops to produce fruit. It just stays attached to the vine and produces grapes—the fruit God created it to produce.
If these vineyards weren’t reminder enough of God’s great promise, he punctuated the lesson with seven rainbows. Yes, seven gorgeous rainbows pierced through the mist that morning. I “ooed and ahhhed and giggled” like a giddy little girl whose daddy was lavishing his love on her.
And then…then God really showed off—around the last turn, outstretched over the vineyards was a fully arched double rainbow! The largest rainbow (or double rainbow) I’d ever witnessed. For this, I had no words, just awe—awe for God’s majesty in creation and His signature covenant. I love how it’s worded in The Voice:
“Look for the rainbow, and remember My promise. With it I sign the covenant I have made between Me and all the living creatures residing on the earth.” Genesis 9:17
Look for the rainbow and remember my promise. What better reminder of his promises in John 15 than an outstretched double rainbow over those vineyards? He promises to be a good vinedresser—to care for those of us who make our home in him—so that we will bear much fruit. The fruit He created us to produce.
When we find our ministry calendars overflowing with little fruit to show, will we take the time to stop and simply make room for Jesus? Will we stop and look for the rainbow and remember God’s promise to us—that if we make our home in him he will make his home in us?
Abba, create in us the desire to make our home with you. Remind us daily of your promise that if we make our home in you, you WILL make your home in us. Help us to accept your love that only wants the best for us—the kind of love that helps us to become who YOU created us to be. Amen