May 13, 2008

It's Pruning Time

I'm not much of a gardener, but this spring I've learned the value of pruning the trees and shrubs in my flower beds. I hadn't done it before, so I was a little surprised at the results. I'm sure there's some scientific explanation for the necessity of pruning. If I had to guess, I'd say that the withering flowers and branches are consuming nutrients and basically robbing the healthy foliage of the nutrition it needs.

It's the same with us.
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

God wants to cut out the parts of our lives that are draining us...where we are dead spiritually.

What does He need to prune from our lives? Perhaps
  • Sin that poisons the fruit that marks us as children of the King
  • Attitudes that don't line up with Scripture
  • Misconceptions of who He is
  • Thinking it's all about me
  • Actions that don't glorify Him
  • Choices made that don't consider His plan

Cutting the dead portions of a tree or shrub is understandable, because we can see that it needs to be done. What's harder to grasp is cutting healthy parts of the plant in order for the entire plant to flourish. Oftentimes, there are good things in our lives that need to go because they keep us from bearing the fruit that He intends for us to bear. We see the good and get complacent, not realizing that pruning will bring incredibly sweet fruit to be savored.

What good things in our lives need to be cut out? Perhaps
  • Too many outside commitments
  • A ministry He's not called us to
  • Worldly possessions
The pruning process will be different for each of us. Thankfully, the Gardner is also the Creator. He knows us better than anyone, and He knows what's required to help us bear the fruit He's planted within us.


His Girl said...

This is a beautiful post! I love the thought that not only do we need to let God prune out the obviously sinful parts of our lives, but the clutter of commitments and possessions and even-uh-ministries.

well said!

Amanda said...

Wonderful Melissa. Thank you. Deeply... thank you.

Deidre said...

I love this, Melissa! I am meditating on these verses since you first mentioned them to me. Thank you, thank you!

Lisa writes... said...

You speak Truth.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

So on target Melissa. It is so hard to recognize that pruning can mean the good things as well. It is tough. We must be listening for His leading so we can allow the pruning...often the busyness of life keeps us from pruning, yet the things keeping us busy are what need to be pruned.