One day my step-father trimmed our weaping willow tree. He left the branches in a pile under the tree. For about a month they stayed looking fresh and green. Then one day I noticed that they had all turned brown and looked dead.
The Lord used that to help me realize that I could be seperated from the vine for a long time and look perfectly fine. No one would suspect that I was working in my own strength. One day though it would become obvious to everyone. Failure to abide in Christ results in withering and death. Abiding in Him brings fruit.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. ~John 15:5-6