I bought a pair of trumpet vines to plant in my yard this spring. They were just tiny things, but knowing that they grow fast and like to climb, I built a trellis and planted the baby vines one on each side of it. The trellis actually arched up over and around the gate, and though I am no master woodcrafter and there are lots of things I would do differently if I built it again, I was proud of how the addition to the front yard served to dress up the fence and gate, adding character to the landscaping.
The vines were far too small to be training to climb the trellis, so I watered and weeded them carefully and waited for nature to do its thing.
And it did. They weren’t kidding when they said trumpet vine grows fast! It wasn’t long before both plants were sending out shoots, shoots that were long enough to start training to use the newly-built trellis. Imagine my surprise when those shoots weren’t growing towards the trellis at all, but rather, towards the fence that it was built upon… Now I didn’t want trumpet vine climbing my fence. I wanted it to climb the trellis, to one day form an archway of vegetation to be walked beneath each time we passed through that gate!
Frustrated but undaunted, I carefully rerouted those shoots towards the trellis. I even attached some twine to the first rung of the trellis and gently wound it around those shoots to encourage them to grow in the right direction. Imagine my increased frustration when I went out to examine the plants the next day to see that the shoots had resumed their path towards the fence, pulling the twine along with them!
Again, I patiently redirected the shoot, and this time I hooked the twine into a wooden notch on that first rung of the trellis so that it couldn’t slip towards the fence. I will admit, however, that my patience was running thin when I went out the next day and saw that somehow the shoots had gotten the twine to unhook itself from that notch in the wood and were once again headed — yup, you guessed it — towards the fence! Grrr!
God knows all about the frustration I feel over my wayward vine. He “planted” two perfect creations in His beautiful garden. Their names? Adam and Eve. He did everything to make the garden appealing to them: “Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit.” (Gen. 2:8-9a NLT). They had everything they could possibly have wanted or needed to grow in their relationship to God. He even came down and personally walked with them in that garden: “When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden.” (Genesis 3:8a NLT). His hope was that they would grow towards Him, that they would be firmly established in Him. What He didn’t want, however, was for His perfect creations to grow towards Him because that was their only choice. He wanted them to choose Him of their own accord, based on their personal experiences of His love. So He also put in a second choice: “In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:9b NLT). Notice that beside this “second choice”, He planted the good tree, the tree of life…
But those two perfect creations, as pampered and blessed as they were, didn’t grow towards Him. They grew towards the “fence” — the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They did the only thing that they were forbidden to do: They ate the fruit of that tree: “The woman … She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.” (Genesis 3:6 NLT)
How sad God must have been. But when He came down that evening to walk with them, fully knowing what they had done, He gently tried to woo them back: “Then the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” (Gen. 3:9 NLT).
Unfortunately, just like my vine returned its course to the fence no matter what I did, mankind turned away from God. But God was undaunted. He was determined to get everyone to turn back to Him. He made a plan. He sent Jesus to die for our sins: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17 NLT).
Here my analogy with the trumpet vine stops, however. In the end, my trumpet vine will climb my trellis! It will take persistence and patience on my part. It may even require that I add vertical bars to the trellis to make it more appealing to the vine. I will prune it and attach it and direct it until it does what I want it to do. God, however, does not want anyone serving Him for any other reason than that it is what they truly want to do. Therefore we have a choice. Will we continue our route towards the “fence” — the world, sin and all its enticing emptiness? Or will we accept Jesus’ sacrifice and turn back to the “trellis” of strength, the one and only lover of our souls, the almighty, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God?
If you have never given your heart to God, or if you once walked with God but have turned away to the “fence” of sin, now is the time to turn to the “trellis” of God. Don’t wait. You can do so in one of three ways:
1. You can view our Salvation video;
2. You can visit our Savior’s Call webpage, available in 10 different languages;
3. Or you can email us, and we’ll be happy to help you accept Jesus into your heart!
Don’t wait! Do it today!
In His love,