I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
We've been having many storms the last two weeks. Ice, sleet, freezing fog, snow, and wind. Three winter storms in the last two weeks, a lot for us. The first storm was the worst. Many thousands of people were without power. Many tree limbs came down.
There was a branch in my yard that came down yesterday. It was a biggish limb, torn right off from a large tree in the back yard. I'd planned to take a photo of it to illustrate the verse, but the yard got cleaned up before I came home from work. So I found this branch in the sheep pasture instead.
Look at it. The limb is dead, that kind of dead, rusty brown that pine trees turn when they are good and dead. It is no longer connected to the tree. That limb can stay on the ground there as long as it wants but it will never do anything except lay there and get dead-er. It will not grow longer. It will not spring pine needles, It will not bear pine cones. It will not house birds. It will not shade worms. It will only lie there, dead.
It is apart from the tree.
Do not be apart from the vine. Jesus is the vine, providing life-flowing sustenance, strength, power. Abide in Him.