I love a walled garden and especially a vine that grows over the wall. There’s something so life-giving about living beauty and fruitfulness that goes beyond the limitation of borders. Think about the life of Joseph. Upon his father’s deathbed, Jacob prophesied this.
“Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall” (Genesis 48:22).
Betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery, imprisoned, falsely accused, raised to the highest political level to serve his enemies; ultimately Joseph rescued his nation, and saved many alive. Whew!
Joseph remained well-watered, growing spiritually, and fruitful beyond his own family and nation. His vines grew up and over his confinements, truly.
I think we could easily call the scourge of COVID a season of walls—we are still enduring a number of barriers—virus, quarantine, loss of livelihood, even death, etc. Even face masks are a type of wall that we must bear for the greater good. These blockades have seeped deeply into our psyches, and time will reveal the their influences good and bad.
And as I was reading the Joseph story, my eyes fell on this scripture as well.
“But the more they were oppressed, the more they flourished; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites” (Exodus 1:12).
Perhaps these Covid walls of containment—this oppression—is causing us to flourish as never before. Perhaps we may gain favor with our enemies as we endure and ascend to greater spiritual freedoms. Perhaps the barriers will bring reconciliation and redemption. Being formed into Christ’s image and the extension of the kingdom is the end game.
Maybe the walls that remain will not stop our lovely, green, and flowering vines from flourishing and growing up and over changing many. Maybe they will engulf and swallow the barricades that imprison and separate with fruitful boughs of beauty.
I do love a walled, flourishing garden, but the vines that climb over are the very picture of hope and life that quantifies the oppression. I am that vine crawling over societal barriers, flowering and prospering.