Monday, March 19, 2018

The Parable of the Lawn Mower

June 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch cannot produce fruit alone but must remain in the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit alone but must remain in me. (John 15:4 NCV)

I remember years ago when my husband was on his way back from a business trip, I wanted to surprise him by mowing the front lawn for him. We had a small front yard, so I thought it would be quick and easy. I had never actually used this particular lawn mower, but I assumed it couldn’t be that hard to operate. Well, I got the thing going, but it was very difficult to push. It took great effort to maneuver the mower around the yard. By the time I finished, I was completely exhausted.

A week later, as my husband was about to mow the lawn again, I noticed that after he started the mower he unlocked a gear that put the thing in self-propel. I realized then that I had manually mowed the entire front lawn, and that’s why it was so difficult!

This can be a great analogy of our spiritual life as well. We see a task before us and although we have the proper equipment to get the job done, we may still find ourselves straining and pushing with great effort to accomplish it. We might think we are doing God a great favor through our struggles and efforts. We might even think being worn out, weary, and tired is what the work of the Lord is all about. But maybe we’ve forgotten about that little gear that will take the brunt of the load off of us. As in mowing the lawn, we still work, but now, as we follow behind the Lord, the work becomes easy and the burden is light!

One of the most profound yet simple analogies of the true Christian life is the analogy of the vine and the branch in John chapter 15.

Jesus said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. If any remain in me and I remain in them, they produce much fruit. But without me they can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NCV)

Think of a branch in relation to a vine. The branch is nothing by itself, as all of its life and energy comes from the vine. The branch cannot produce fruit apart from being attached to the vine. The branch does not have to strive or struggle to produce fruit – all that is required of the branch is to abide – to be at rest, to wait upon (patiently) for the nourishment and direction from the vine, and to be in a state of peace and joy.

We can wear ourselves out trying to do a lot of things for God, but the Lord wants us to simply follow in step with Him – only then will we be truly productive in God’s Kingdom.

So let’s relax and let go of our self-pressure to perform, our anxieties of measuring up, and our concerns in getting everything done. When we let all of that go, we will truly find our rest and joy in Him.

Is anything out of gear in your life? If so, ask the Lord today to help you put things in place!

Julie and her husband, Alan, have been married over 23 years and have been elders in their church (Willowbrook Church in Houston, TX) for about 10 years now. She loves to write and has 2 published Christian Children’s books out and a third one is at the publisher right now. She also has 3 unpublished 14 day devotionals out as well. Julie also created a Facebook page called, “Life with Father” where she writes daily devotionals, share videos, scripture, and pray for people, etc.

Her passion is to help mentor and disciple people. Julie loves to help people see how much God is so intricately involved in our daily affairs and how He longs to share His heart and thoughts with us. He wants to teach us His ways through everything we experience in life. By sharing her own life experiences she is hoping people will begin to look and connect with God in their daily routine and thus enjoy a richer, deeper relationship with Him!

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