Our small backyard was like a jungle. The greenery behind the pool was out of control and I didn’t dare venture into the sea of trees and bushes. I had no idea what critters were roaming in there. So, while I was away on a ministry trip this week, the landscapers came and trimmed it all back.
When I returned, the result of the pruning was so dramatic I didn’t like it. It appeared bare; not lush like it did before. “Did they say this would fill in again?” “Absolutely,” my husband replied. “Will it be as beautiful as before?” “Yes, even more beautiful.”
This kind of pruning is what our Divine Gardener does in our lives. In John 15:1–2, Jesus says, “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.”
Have you ever been pruned by God?
God has trimmed away jobs, friends, and material possessions in my life. What about you?
At first it didn’t look pretty. It was hard, and I still miss some of the people from my past. There was a void in my life at first, but in the end this pruning took me to another place both physically and spiritually. The fruit in my life eventually multiplied.
Pruning is never easy, but it is necessary if we want to grow in our faith. Often times, without pruning, our spiritual life grows stagnant and we carry around a lot of dead branches. They are things that should have been trimmed off a long time ago, but we hold onto them because we like routine and are afraid to let go.
What needs to be pruned in your life?
Don’t be afraid to lay yourself in God’s greenhouse and ask him to remove anything that hinders your spiritual growth. It may be difficult at first. You may feel bare. But the pruning has a purpose, and in the end, you will become even more beautiful than before. (LBW)