I have been thinking a lot about this in recent weeks. With the arrival of spring and new growth, I began to walk around our house to inspect the bushes and plants which I had “pruned” in the fall. I was curious if, in the pruning process, I had killed anything permanently.
is a horticultural practice involving the selective removal of parts of a plant. Reasons to prune plants include deadwood removal, shaping (by controlling or directing growth), improving or maintaining health. The practice entails targeted removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from crop and landscape plants. (taken from Wikipedia)
I knew, while I was pruning, I only wanted what was best for my plants. I wanted to remove the dead, unattractive, and unshapely. My desire? As life would begin again in the spring, they would be beautiful, perfectly shaped, colorful, and healthy.
While I was in the process of pruning though, I had no idea, NONE, what the outcome would be. None. All winter, while all was dormant, the true health of the plants and bushes was hidden.
Jesus spoke about the process of pruning in the lives of His people…
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15: 1, 2 NIV).
In this passage, Jesus tells us the Father prunes “so that we will be even more fruitful”. Could it be even when I have been pruned by the Father, I have so focused on the process (ie ”“ the pain), I missed that He truly knew what He was doing all along? How did I miss that He was only removing what was dead? That He was even doing what was best for me? He was in the process of removing all which was no longer purposeful in my life. He was clipping the unhealthy. While I lay in the dormant stage for a time, a new branch of my life was waiting to burst forth and bear fruit. He was always at work in my life to make me more beautiful, more productive, more healthy. And it would all be for His glory.
He has been unfolding these truths this week.
I found myself appreciating the pruning process. Notice I did not say, “I liked it” but that I appreciated it. I realized, while pruning happens in the now of life, its purpose is fully revealed in what is yet to come. As we allow the Lord to prune from our lives the unattractive, the strongholds, the unproductive; it is so that the future generations of our families will also be productive for Him, walk in integrity, and be healthy spiritually.
Not wanted yet so needed.
To bear fruit.
For as we are pruned, our roots will go deep in Him so that we will grow in such a way to bear fruit. May it be for His joy and for His glory.
Today I am joining with … Three Word. Wed. and Wordless Wed. and Wed. Prayer Girls and Wedded Wed. and A Little R & R and Works For Me and Wholehearted Wed. and Winsome Wed. and Whimsical Wed. and Imperfect Prose and Coffee For Your Heart .