Some of you know I like to tinker with a vegetable garden as well as try to get some fruit trees to grow and produce fruit for our family.
The hardest thing? Pruning.
Not because the physical labor is so difficult, but because the emotional angst is so great (It gets less, but is still there.)
I struggle to feel good about cutting off perfectly healthy branches. My logic says, “the more branches, the more fruit.” The “laws” of Horticulture say, “The more branches, the less fruit.” So it pains me to cut off good branches, but I have to trust that in pruning some branches, those that remain WILL be more fruitful.
John 15:1-2 Jesus says: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 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.
I’ve learned that the purpose of pruning and why it works. Pruning does three things:
- Allows more light to get throughout the tree.
- Allows more air to flow through the tree.
- Allows more nutrition to go to fruit production than leaf and branch production.
Fruit needs all three of these to form and flourish.
Often times we think of the pruning the Father does as the “hardships and difficulties of life” we endure. We focus on the “cut” of the branch that is painful and sometimes leaves scars. True enough. But could it also be possible that the Gardner, our Father, cuts off the things in our life that are preventing the fruit from forming and flourishing?
Maybe the pruning in your life is removing the ability to engage in some recreation activity because your Father knows that it will cloud out time the Light of the World. Maybe pruning in your life is your heavenly Father refocusing time to spend with the Spirit of God. Maybe pruning in your life are situations that drive you back to the nourishment of the Word of God.
The more we have the Light of the World, the Spirit of God and the Word of God at work in our hearts the more abundant and significant the fruit is we will produce.
I’m not sure how the Father “feels” about “pruning” our lives, but I am sure he does it with full conviction that removing the things in our life that hinder the production of fruit will lead to more nutrition, light and air getting to our soul and when our soul is fed, fruit WILL BE produced! Your Father, the gardener, loves you too much to do what it takes to make you more fruitful.
Apply: What might God be pruning out of your life that perhaps you are upset at, but is a way for him to refocus your heart and life more fully on him?
Prayer: Father, thank you for your tender loving care that is willing to prune our branch from the things that get in the way of producing fruit for you. Lead us to see what you are pruning so we may produce the fruit for which you are looking! AMEN.