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I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. Hosea 11:4 NIV

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Ever feel tied down, tied up? Limited by your limits? I do. I chafe against all the restrictions that come day by day as I try to get work done, spend time with family, deal with my latest tech crisis and have a bit of space left over for something creative. Why does life tie me down? Why can’t I be free, have the time and talent to do and be EVERYTHING my heart desires?

When Jesus said, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches,’ I often mis-read that to mean ‘you are the grapes’. He speaks about our being fruitful, so it’s an easy mistake to make. But no. I am not a juicy cluster of grapes, ripening in the sun. I’m only the fragile little twig that supports the fruit.

The branches are too weak to hold up grapes on their own. In every vineyard, shiny metal wires stretch taut from pole to pole down the rows. I imagine the vines complaining, “Cut these cords! They limit us too much! Let us be free to grow any old way we choose.” If they get their wish, the vines will run higgledy-piggledy along the ground. Grapes might appear but never ripen, never reach high enough to catch the sun. They will rot or be eaten by little creatures. Pruning the branches is essential, but the vinedresser doesn’t stop there. Lovingly, with great care, he ties each one to the wire. That’s the only way they can hold the fruit.

Are you fed up with your limits? Think about how these might be part of God’s hand-crafted plan for you at this moment.

Prayer (as a couple)

Heavenly Father, we thank you for tying us with cords of love. In our limitations help us to see your kind plan for us today.

Prayer (for others)

Lord Jesus, we especially pray for _______ who is chafing against limits. Help them to experience your contentment in every area of their life.

Quote

…the greatest loss we must grieve is our limits. It drives us to humility before God and others like little else. Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

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