“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardner. He cuts off every branch that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2
For months I have heard the term “being pruned by God” and I’ve acted like I understood it but really it baffles me. Someone will explain what it means and I will understand for a second then I won’t get it. In my short time as a follower of Christ I have never been through this pruning process, until now. I still didn’t understand it so I decided to dig deep. Most times I go into the Bible but for this I actually learned most the pruning details I needed from Lowes (I’m literally laughing as I say this.) See God is the gardner, as referred to in John 15:1, so I figured you gotta learn from someone with expert knowledge in gardening.
There’s two important questions I asked: why and when
Pruning keeps trees healthy and allows the tree to focus on healthy growth and development. What does the gardner do during pruning?
- removes any hanging limbs that could fall or cause damage (not just to yourself but to surrounding things.) The funny thing about this part is you are advised to call an arborist for help. It is too dangerous for someone unqualified to remove the broken pieces that are stuck in the tree. We need to allow God to remove these unnecessary limbs that have the potential to harm us and the people surrounding us. This could be a nagging sin that you just can’t bite, a fleshly desire, or even someone who shouldn’t be in your life at this moment. We are to lay it at God’s feet and acknowledge we can’t do it without Him. Pray and ask God to help reveal this to you and allow Him to remove it.
- Pays attention to branches that grow inward. I know when I am becoming self centered, I can feel something stabbing at me and growing inward just as my focus does the same. Colossians 3:2 says “Fix your eyes on things above, not on earthly things.” Set your sight on Jesus. It is painful as I allow God to saw off these branches during this season
- Removes harmful sprouts at the base of the tree that are taking away nutrients. When we have other things growing in our heart that aren’t of the Spirit they will start to drain us spiritually and physically. (I will talk about how we know what these things are next week so check back!)
My second question, when is the right time to prune?
Maybe the answer caught me by surprise because I know nothing about gardening or trees or maybe I was shocked at how boldly God spoke to me through it. The best time to prune is right after a big bloom. Right after you produce fruit or maybe even have a big growth spurt, God chooses to prune you.He wants to prepare you for the next season so you don’t miss out on your next time to bloom, because trust me you can. If you don’t allow God to prune you you will not bloom the way you should.
Father God, thank you for caring so much about us. Thanking you for allowing us to rely on you. Thank you for the Vine that is Jesus and allowing us to be connected to Him. I give you control, Father. Grow me and prune me in whatever ways are necessary, no matter how painful. You are so good. Amen.