Who’s Pruning Whom?


Have you ever seen a tree prune a landscaper? Have you ever seen a bush prune its caretaker? Have you ever seen a garden prune the gardener? Of course not. Yet how many of us have tried to prune the Lord instead of letting Him prune us to bear fruit? I don’t know about you, but I have.
“God, will you please change my circumstances?” I begged Him several years back.

“I’m using your circumstances to change your heart,” He replied.

Now wait a cotton-picking minute. I was simply trying to prune God’s plan for my life. Surely I could make it better. But God reminded me He is not concerned with what is better. He knows how to make fruit that is BEST.

“God, will you change my life?” I begged Him a few years later. Yes, I have done quite a bit of begging when it comes to God. 

“Change your attitude, and I’ll change your life,” He replied. 

Are you kidding me? I was simply trying to prune His plans for me at the time. Yet He kindly reminded me He is the pruner; I am not.

“God, PLEASE get these dogs adopted,” I have begged, pleaded, implored, cried, cursed, you name it, I’ve done it – yet again. “Don’t you get it, God?” How many times, once again, have I reminded God He needs some serious pruning. “Don’t you see I can’t handle this stress?” I told Him just this morning.

Later, after I had taken Mercy and Winnie out of their doggie wheelchairs, in a magnificent yard full of tropical trees, blooming bushes, and glorious grass, these words popped into my mind.

Who’s pruning whom? Sadly, if the truth be known, and now it is, I have been trying to prune God – once again.

“God, I don’t like this branch. This plan of yours is taking too long. God, I don’t like that other branch. This circumstance you’re continuing to allow in my life is too painful. God, I need to prune your way of doing this. It’s not fair. God, God, God. If you’ll just allow me to prune this one thing about you, this one idea you have, this one thought you have, this one aspect of your plan, this one detail in your purpose, God – “

How can I not laugh at myself? Amid the frustration, aggravation, stress, hurt, pain, discouragement, desperation, impatience, you name it, I’ve experienced it, over and again. Laugh? Yes.

The master pruner, moi, well, I have been holding onto some of my branches for dear life. No, I won’t let this one go. Ouch, it hurts too much to have it pruned. Then, I have been picking up branches He already pruned – well, walloped off. Hey, I need this one back. Give me that one. Just this one branch, really, I need it, I can’t live without it. Ouch, you got that branch pruned off when I wasn’t even looking! 

Hey, God, give me those shears. As I’ve so desperately resisted against the pruning process, holding back the fruits I will most certainly bear once I yield completely to the Lord, I’ve also kept myself busy with another matter. Pruning God.

So while I’ve spent countless time trying to stop God from pruning me, I’ve made it quite clear to God that I’ve got a graduate degree in PRUNING. NOT.

Have I made a mess of things? Just look at my yard. Seriously, I don’t even bother with landscaping. I let my yard landscape itself. I just don’t have the time, money, and wherewithal to keep my massive property properly landscaped. 

Besides, I’m altogether too busy pruning, pruning, pruning. As I write this, in this very moment, I have the most wonderful idea. Why not hand my pruning shears over, say a big PRUNING PRAYER, and see what the Lord might do in my life if I get in my right place and THANK HIM for loving me so much that He wants to prune me – and TRUST HIM to do so – and WATCH WHAT HE DOES!

Okay, here goes…..

Dear God, 

I hope you’ve gotten a good laugh out of this. I haven’t, and yet I have. Okay, I know you’re not laughing at me. You’re laughing with me. Let’s laugh together. And, in the meantime, PLEASE FORGIVE ME, for the zillion of times throughout my life I’ve resisted and rebelled against your pruning. Please forgive me also for playing PRUNER and interfering with your will for my life and your will for others’ lives. Thank you for your mercy!

Lord, I yield myself to you. I submit to you. As my pastor has taught me, you are not only my God. You are my KING, my LORD, and my SAVIOR. And I surrender to you completely. 

Go ahead, God, please take out your PRUNING SHEARS and go for it. Please lop off all the old junk, and make me a big, beautiful fruit-bearing tree – the kind you desire me to be.

You know I’ve had such extreme trouble trusting you because of the wounds that have yet to heal from my past. But I WANT to trust you. I WANT to WANT to do your will. And more than anything, I know I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU, and I WANT MORE OF YOU.

Thank you for answering my PRUNING PRAYER. And please, God, if at all possible, don’t make the PRUNING hurt too much. Ouch. Thank you for reminding me to rest in you as you take me through this process. Ouch. I love you.


John 15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a]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. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” NKJV
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