December 8, 2021: The Vinedresser
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. ... Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:1–2, 4, NKJV).
These words have brought me so much comfort over the years. When I was a junior at Southwestern Adventist University (Texas), I felt lost and not ready to face my senior year. God had not answered my prayers and desire to travel the world.
Then, a few weeks before my junior year came to a close, I walked past the Student Missions office, and felt God telling me to go inside. Mind you, it is not my nature to walk into an office and talk to strangers. But I found myself asking the director about places student missionaries had been to in the past. It did not take long to realize that God was calling me to be a missionary. I prayed and asked Him to show me how this would be possible.
That fall, I went to Chuuk, a state in the Guam-Micronesia Mission field. While serving there, I recall reading John 15, seeing God “prune” areas in my life that did not fit His plan and fulfilling a plan He had already laid out perfectly for me. Allowing the Vinedresser to prune desires that were against His plan helped me to see how much more potential I had when I placed Him at the forefront.
Thank You, God, for continuing to prune me so that I can bear fruit for You. Amen.
Tabita Martinez is the undertreasurer for the Columbia Union Conference.