Jack Jackson - John 15: The Husbandman and the Branches Poem - 1927

'Twas pruning time in the vineyard, and the Master looked with care

At the vine He loved so dearly, and its branches, green and fair.

Some were trailing loosely, and taking their own way,

As He saw them bruised and broken, His heart was sore that day.

 

What can I do to help them, the precious fruit to bear?

To cut them down and prune them means special, tender care.

His heart was full of pity as the knife He held up high

"There's no one else can do it," He said it with a sigh.

 

One branch He saw was withered, its leaves all drooping low,

From the true vine, it was severed; the sap had ceased to flow,

Apart from the vine, it was useless, and the Master, sad at heart,

Laid the branch outside the Vineyard, from the others, far apart.

 

Back to the vineyard again, He came and near the vine stood by;

A branch He saw with His eye so keen, was climbing very high.

He took it gently in His hands, and soon He brought it low;

And with His knife, He cut it down that it might fruitful grow.

 

He trained it back against the wall, the branch so cut and bare,

And in His love, He lingered still and pruned it here and there.

It little knew how much it cost the Master true that day

To cut it down and bring it low and train it His own way.

 

So here and there, He pruned each branch, and trained them back with care,

A longing true was in His heart that some day, fruit they'd bear.

Nature had sunk in the stillness of rest 'ere the Master went His way,

Although He was tired and weary, He was glad of His work that day.

 

Night has come in the vineyard, silence long had reigned,

Then through the solemn stillness came a little cry of pain.

"Oh, why did the Master prune me and train me back to the wall?

If only I could hang loosely and not be trained at all."

 

'Twas so easy to be rebellious when it was feeling so cut and sore;

But away through the lonely darkness, the face of the Master it saw

His eyes were just filled with pity, while His words so touched with pain,

"If you only could see the future, all this suffering is not in vain."

 

For lo, on the branches once so bare when His heart was so full of pain,

Were clusters so rich and rare, it had just been loss to be gain.

The branch that was once rebellious was filled with joy that day,

As the Master took a bunch 'ere He went on His homeward way.

 

So let us seek to remember when life seems so full of tests,

'Tis only through being submissive that we prove God's way is best.

For He is a loving husbandman, He'll not cause us needless pain,

For all through the pruning and training, we must suffer that we might gain.

 

Right through the endless ages, God's plan is still the same;

That we might become the branches, the true vine from Heaven came.

He knew that it meant to suffer, as He left His home above,

So when He sees us suffering, His heart is filled with love.

 

So let us be willing to suffer the things which seem hard to bear.

Knowing that all through the suffering, Jesus our Master doth care.