The Upper Room Devotional 21st November 2023
The Upper Room Devotional 21st November 2023, Tuesday Message by H. S. Radebe (South Africa)
TOPIC: The True Gardener
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” – John 15:1 (NIV)
Every spring I anticipated the white and lilac blossoms of my wisteria bursting from the branches. I was always surprised by their beauty. But for the last two years my plants have had fewer blooms. Virginia Creeper vines were slowly strangling my wisteria. Every time my husband and I removed a vine, another one would take its place.
Similarly I have allowed my own circumstances to stifle my relationship with God — losing my son in a car wreck, caring for my mother as she slowly slipped away due to Alzheimer’s, and watching my husband struggle with cancer. I was trying to handle all of this alone and found it hard to give control over to God. Instead, I began questioning the challenges. Why was I experiencing so much heartache?
As time passed, I realized I could never bloom alone. I needed to remember the promise of Jesus. He is the true vine, and when we remain connected to Christ, we can find new life springing from heartache or despair.
Dear Lord, help us to turn to you for help so that our love for you can bloom, bringing joy to our lives and glory to you. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Only God can make me bloom again.
To turn to God for help
The Upper Room is a daily devotional magazine published in more than 30 languages and 100 countries around the world. The daily meditations are written by readers of the magazine and others interested in sharing their faith experiences through writing—both laity and clergy, published authors and new writers. The meditations are stories of real people working to live faithfully with the Bible as their touchstone. Every day, readers of The Upper Room around the world read the same story in many different languages and pray the same prayer together.