The Joys of Pruning
Every spring I prune the flowering bushes at the front of my house. Pruning promotes and encourages the plants natural growth and keeps them healthy. Pruning is very beneficial for plants especially when done at the right time. Yet despite knowing all the good things that come from it, when looking at the plants after the pruning has been done I always wonder if I may have cut back too much and caused harm. However, that never proves to be true. My plants year after year grow back healthy and strong and produce the most beautiful flowers that I joyfully get to share with others and display in my house. Pruning may feel like a daunting task but it is well worth it.
And just like plants our lives need pruning. The word reads in John 15:2, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes so that it may bear more fruit.” Each of us have branches or extensions of our lives that either bear fruit or do not. The Lord’s will is that we all are fruitful or godly. He desires for all His children to have fruitful branches or godly extensions coming from their life so He will take away branches that are not fruitful or ungodly. These branches are not in alignment with God’s will or purposes for your life and are no good and useless to you. But however good it may be for you to have it taken away, it still may not feel good to lose it.
Having a branch taken away is not the same as with a branch that is pruned however similar it may feel. Pruning occurs only with fruitful branches or godly extensions of your life that are good and pleasing to the Lord. But while they produce good fruit, they still require to be reduced or cut back during seasons of your life so that you can remain healthy and grow into your fullest potential for the season to come. But while pruning is very good, it can still feel a lot like a branch that has been taken away because it is always difficult to cut back on things that you love. So during a season of pruning, we must remain steadfast, always trusting in the Lord and remaining confident of His promise that the branches that He prunes will bear more fruit in the seasons to come.
I recently went through a season of pruning and it was very difficult. It felt wrong to cut back on activities that I enjoyed so much and knew were good. It felt similar to a time when branches had been taken away. It was hard and it hurt but the Lord reminded me that it was good from time to time to cut back on good things in your life so you can remain healthy and grow. It’s just that simple. I know for myself I can so easily overthink and overcomplicate things but the truth is God always has your best interest at His heart and He will never lead you to wrong. He will never take away or prune branches that are not ready to be taken away or pruned. As His children, we have to believe that and trust in Him if our desire is to always remain healthy and grow.
Taking away and pruning is just part of His duties as the vinedresser. It is what He has to do to accomplish His will and purposes on earth. So don’t make it hard on yourself, just trust Him and lean into all His faithful promises. Enjoy where you are and delight in the promise of all the new growth that is to come!
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes so that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:1-2
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6