The Painful Process of Pruning

Monday, February 22, 2010


My friend Kara (also our new pastor's wife!) has been getting up at a very early hour (God bless her heart) and doing a new Bible study series. She had a post on her blog last night about her latest reading and thoughts.

...abiding...
www.karaguffey.blogspot.com/2010/02/abiding.html

She shared some very encouraging words with us. There was one scripture she shared that really set in with me this morning.

Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit" John 15:2

The first thing that popped in my head was the concept of pruning things out here on our land. There are so many things that need pruning: bushes, trees, and all our fruting plants... especially our treasured thornless blackberry bushes. As many of you know, I grew up in a decent-sized city, Springfield. We lived in an urban neighborhood with ordinary urban neighborhood homes and yards and streets and... you get the point. Well, actually, my point is that we didn't grow much, and I had no real concept of how to grow fruiting trees and vining plants. The first time I had a lesson in pruning, I was horrified!

"What? You mean you want me to lop off a perfectly good looking branch? What a WASTE!"

Yes, I absolutely cringed when we would prune our blackberry bush before the next fruiting season. But after some researh and some coaching from Courtney, I found the truth to be that it was ABSOLUTELY necessary. The fact of the matter is that if I, the gardener, do not prune off the branches that have matured and spent their fruit, the plant will not reach its full potential that next fruiting season.
And isn't this how God works in us? It seems so painful at the time. I know I find myself saying, "Why?" or thinking that He doesn't really need to put me through these tough times to teach me my lesson. I couldn't be more wrong. What lessons in life stay with us the most? Well, I can name a few and not one of them was a pleasant experience.

So go ahead God, prune away. Just like my treasured blackberry bush, I know that next season's fruit will be so much better because of it!


1 comments:

Kara February 22, 2010 at 11:33 AM  

I am so glad it was as encouraging to you as it was to me! I think what really got me is we (especially me) often TRY so hard to bear fruit, when in reality what Jesus is saying is abide in Me, remain in Me, I am the life giving source of your fruit, look to ME! So encouraging and refreshing, and you are right pruning is necessary, not always great but necessary for the quality of the fruit we will produce!!

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