S: He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. John 15:2 (NLT)
O: A vine is pruned so that it can put its energy into bearing more fruit. While you can leave a vine unpruned and have it still produce fruit; it will not produce the quantity or quality like one that is pruned. This often seems counterproductive because we might think more branches equates to more fruit, but that isn’t the case at all.
Much like branches on a vine, if we are not pruned, we can grow all over the place exerting more energy into multiple branches – requiring more energy and more care! When God prunes us, He does so knowing what is ahead – knowing which things need to be cut off so our energy can be directed to growing fruit that lasts – fruit that feeds the future.
A: I’m not gonna lie, pruning hurts! Why? Because often what is being pruned is producing fruit! (Read the second half of the verse again, “…branches that do bear fruit…”) So why would God, the Gardener, cut it off?
Honestly? Only God knows.
But what I have learned is that I can trust God with and in the process. He sees so much more than we can! He’s focused on each of us and all of us collectively at the same time! I don’t know how He does it, but in His wisdom, He carefully removes those things from our lives, our ministry, our relationships that would hinder us in the long run if they were not cut off.
I’ve also learned we can’t always see why He prunes something when He does, but after a few seasons, we are often able to taste the sweet fruit produced because of it. Talking to others who are well on the other side of a pruning season can be beneficial, too; their stories can help us to develop patience and eyes that see His skillful hand in the process.
After all, He is the Gardener, Christ is the vine, and we are the branches – filled with the power of His Holy Spirit to do all the good works He prepared in advance for us to do.
Trust the process. Trust the Gardener. Abide in the Vine.
P: God thank You for pruning me. I chose to trust You in the process. May my life bring glory to Your name. Amen
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