I am not a gardener and never will be. I don’t have the desire, definitely not the patience, don’t have the time what with my life being devoted 24-7 to the Lord and ministry, and am the polar opposite of some of my friends who would give just about anything to be digging their hands in the dirt, pulling up weeds, planting, oh, yes, back to the weeding, no more weeds, now over to those bushes, too thick, need pruning, over to the shears, recently sharpened, back to the bushes, prune, prune, prune, all with the hope and confidence the garden will one day look just as they desire. Prune, prune, prune. The weeds have to go. The excess on the branches needs to go. Never mind the branches must not be all too pleased having their excess lopped off. Ouch. Ugh. It hurts, it hurts! Oh, yes, but they are just branches on a bush! They can’t feel the shears, can they?
But, oh, oh my, ouch, ouch, ouch, when we get pruned by the Lord, oh it can hurt so badly sometimes. The Lord calls His followers to bear fruit for Him, to express our faith in Him and love for Him and devotion to Him in the producing of that which He desires to produce through us. The fruit of His Spirit. Like love, joy, patience, and peace. The fruit of good works. The fruit of love and service to Him and to others. Like sharing the Gospel message. Encouraging His followers. Helping people to understand and live by the Bible. Praying for people. Going on missions trips. Modeling to others in our everyday lives what it is and looks like to be Christ-like. Living in a way honoring and glorifying to God. And on and on the bearing of fruit goes for God’s children.
And, oh, yes, it can hurt along the way! For just as a good gardener prunes to get everything in place and maximize beauty and the bearing of fruit, of flowers, of leaves and loveliness, of everything being in the best possible working order as possible, the Lord prunes us to take away what doesn’t belong, what isn’t necessary, what gets in the way, what holds us back, what isn’t beautiful and lovely, what doesn’t please Him, what doesn’t line up with His Word, of what is part of our old lives lived according to the world’s ways, of what is hurtful to Him and to others, and all that does not bring love, honor, and glory to His name.
Just as the bushes and branches don’t move in the hands of the pruner, of the gardener, not resisting the pruning shears, we need to yield ourselves to the Lord and to His pruning shears with the trust and confidence the Lord knows what He is doing, His ways are best, His plan is perfect, His ultimate goal is ideal, and we, as His children, need pruning along the way of living the lives God has given us to live for Him!
Do not resist God’s pruning shears, friend. Submit yourself to Him without resistance. Yield yourself into His loving hands. Humble yourself before Him. When it hurts, seek His comfort. Remember His love. Trust His will. Trust Him. Be thankful. That the best pruner in the world is God almighty, and that He is taking the time to prune you on His pathway as He leads you by His Spirit forth. His Spirit leads His children. His children are those who turn from their sins, believe Jesus is Lord and died for us and was raised from the dead, and who commit our lives to Him. Commit your life to the Lord, friend, and to His pruning shears. Live for the Lord, live for the Lord, live for the Lord, YES!
Lord, help us not to resist your pruning! Prune, prune, prune, Father, make us into the men and women of God you desire us to be, AMEN!
“”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. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned…By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:1-8