It seems cruel and unnecessary to start pruning or cutting back a plant that appears to be healthy and thriving. It goes against our natural inclination to cut something down when what we desire to see is more, yet with most flowering plants, shrubs, and trees, removing growth is the key to more blossoms and fruit.
Pruning is an essential task for the gardener who wants to see abundant fruit or flowers. We cut back old growth to make way for new, we remove the spent blossoms to send energy to the new buds, and we even trim seemingly healthy plants to prepare them for their next season of growth.
Spiritual Growth Requires Pruning
Jesus knows this is necessary in our lives also. We cannot maintain healthy spiritual growth without some pruning. This can be a painful time as we watch God cut away at the overgrowth in our lives. We feel the sharp edge of His truth when He snips off pride, selfishness, and apathy. Like the pruned bushes we feel painfully naked and marred with all our branches exposed, but in spring new growth will bring fresh, strong fruit and a healthier plant. Be patient in the pruning season God has chosen for you. He is the Master Gardener. You will bloom again.
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. John 15:1-2
Calling on the Master Gardener: Father, You are the Master Gardener and I trust You to prune the overgrowth and sin from my life to make way for the new things You have to teach me. Help me to understand Your goodness when I do not feel like being pruned. Allow me to see the good that comes from the pain and help me to be patient as You foster this new growth in my life. Amen.
Preparing the Soil:
How do you react when God wants to prune your spiritual life?
Are you in the pruning season now? If so, how do you feel about the process? Do you believe that good will come from this time?
Sowing the Word:
Reflect on the truth that God is preparing you to produce better fruit than you have before. Write out a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God. Share with Him your feelings and thank Him for the good that comes from pruning.
John 15:1-8, 1Peter 5:5-7, Hebrews 12:3-11
Be careful when you prune! Some flowering shrubs require pruning immediately after blooming to ensure next year’s growth is not cut away. Some trees prefer winter pruning. Always consult a gardening center expert or your trusted gardening book before pruning.
To be pruned is to lose the basis upon which everyone around you measures you as successful. ~ Allen Hood
You don’t need to be approved by anyone but God, so be sure HE is the one you allow to prune you! ~ Mary