“Ouch” – John 15:1
Do we have any gardeners out there? Are you familiar with pruning? If you have some rosebushes in your yard you probably have had to prune them to maintain a good, healthy and prolific plant. You may have other bushes, trees or vines that need to be pruned and you know you can’t just start chopping off branches willy-nilly; there is an art to pruning which produces the best results.
God calls himself a vinedresser several places in scripture while his beloved people are the vine he is growing with much personal care. Pruning is an important part of the job. Jesus said; “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, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:1-2)
I don’t imagine my rosebushes cringe when I pull out my pruning shears and start heading toward them. Not a peep out of them when I clip a branch right above a bud of new growth. No tears shed as I gather up an armload of pruned branches for the compost pile. I can’t say the same for myself, however, when the shoe is on a different foot. When God begins to prune those areas of my life that are dead or fruitless; I’m cringing, I’m screaming, I’m crying!
Pruning usually hurts a bit but we need to remember who is doing it and why. We need to trust in the Master Gardener as he prunes only what is necessary. The momentary pinch we feel is worth it as something which hinders our spiritual growth is removed from our life. After it is gone we can be more productive, grow faster and produce more fruit. As we mature we get to the point where we welcome and even ask for our needed pruning.
Are you being pruned right now? Go ahead – let out your little “ouch” but follow it up with a grateful “thank you, Lord” and watch as all the new buds burst forth.
Here’s the audio version: