“I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener. . . every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 14:1,2)
Spring has sprung beautifully here in Virginia and I am blessed that I am able to take part in a beginner gardening course. We recently discussed pruning and I was reminded of the above verse. As we studied the benefits of pruning, I realized how God’s pruning tools of trials and suffering are for our benefit.
Pruning redirects growth. I need to grow in directions of joy, contentment, hope, and peace , rather than envy, discouragement, bitterness, or self-pity. Pruning thins out extra branches and strengthens the main branches supporting the tree’s structure.
God may remove certain things in my life to show me that He is enough and my strength comes from Him. Pruning rejuvenates old growth. I sometimes need a fresh reminder that God is in control and has the best plan for my life, regardless of how it seems at the moment.
I can adopt new outlooks and methods of coping with problems, remembering I am new creation in Christ. Proper pruning encourages fruit growth. God’s purpose is for me to bear fruit for Him whatever my circumstances, and He gives me the strength and ability to do that if I am attached firmly to Him.
Pruning shapes the object. Everything that God brings in to my life has the potential of conforming me more to His image so that I am transformed into His likeness (II Corinthians 3:18).
Interestingly enough, a well-pruned tree which is exposed to severe weather will build up stronger supportive tissue and more flexible limbs than those trees which are not under such stress. God’s Spirit helps us to increase in perseverance and endurance through suffering, so that we will become mature in Him (James 1:2-4).
Improper pruning can destroy a tree. Thankfully our God is not a harsh gardener. Our scars show the cuts of His love and care, and He is shaping us perfectly for eternity.
Prayer: O God, You are the perfect pruner. May I yield to Your pruning methods in my life as You shape me for Your glory. Amen.
About the Author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in VA and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband and three grown daughters. God’s grace and strength give her the ability to deal with chronic back pain, depression, headaches, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at http://www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com.