“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
What does it mean to be pruned by God? Or some of you may be asking, “What does it feel like to be pruned by God,” though I suspect most of us have a good idea already.
Take these trees above. Fire has scorched the trunks and left them fertile for new life. Heavy rain, flooding and aging create hollowed out trunks that bring shelter for wildlife. Nothing is by chance. God leaves His mark on the tree to the right. The symbol of life.
When we accept Jesus into our lives, it is a gift – not to be kept to ourselves, but to be shared with others. When we hear His message and offer our lives to Christ, The Holy Spirit is the gift that is given to us along with eternal salvation. We are to live our lives in accordance with the scriptures. We start our life-long Faith Walk, guided by The Holy Spirit, to reflect the image of Christ to others as we are called to do in Matthew 28:19.
How does Jesus, perfect in every way, mold us and shape us? How does He wash away our sins and get our attention away from our selfishness; our judgmental attitudes; our brokenness?
He gives us thorns in the flesh that bring us to our knees; that make us cry out and cling to no one else but Him, because we realize His grace is sufficient for us. His power is made perfect in weakness. And because of this, we learn a greater strength than we would have ever known in ourselves.
We beat our chests in anger over the evil in the world; in the suffering that goes on; in the children starving in our neighborhoods, in every state and worlds away. We throw our hands in the air and scream, “Why do you let it continue, God?”
Then it happens. Our eyes are opened. We have lost a small piece of ourselves as we grieve for our fellow-man. We roll up our sleeves and we get to work.
We slave after the foolish things in this life, always willing to go the extra mile for the chance at a better paying job, a nicer home or that must-have car. My family will understand. Dad makes excuses for why he’s never home for dinner. The kids are grown and don’t communicate at all anymore. Did they forget where we lived? Mom’s eyes have started to look elsewhere; she thinks no one needs or wants her anymore. This family is at the verge of a breakdown until God intervenes in the form of a death that shatters the family for a while, but then slowly draws them back together, stronger than ever. Their eyes firmly fixed on what is important for the first time.
God’s chisel is always at work, cutting away the apathy and hate from our inner-being. We don’t notice; others do.
Perspective brings things into light that were once in darkness.
Doorways close that keep us from becoming who we are meant to be in Christ. Pathways lead us to new opportunities, new people. Pivotal circumstances bring monumental change. They don’t come without monumental pain.
Pruning is painful. We don’t see what God sees. We have to have blind trust. We need to walk by faith.
Now safely on the other side, you have the opportunity to breathe. Time passes. You begin to see the bigger picture of what God is doing.
You see the fruit of His Pruning
You have more trust, less fear the next time you are being pruned. There is always a next time. You will help others safely to the other side.
What is your biggest lesson from God’s pruning?
I think mine is this: no matter how badly I love something or someone, God sometimes sees a need to remove this from my life. Sometimes it is for a short time. Other times it is permanently. I do know that He works not only on me, but through me, and through others around me. These lessons may have nothing to do with me. Pain is still pain.
I’m linking up here today.