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
God always cuts, he does it with the intent to prepare us for the next level of our lives. Everything God does is purposeful!
We have all heard that God loves us as we are, but His desire is to make us more like Christ, yet we have a hard time letting go of what makes us, US! What makes you who you are? The things we have, our experiences and interpretations of them, and those characteristics in us which we consider our being. When you think of who you are, you would say I’m nice, I’m generous, I’m wise, I’m courageous, I’m shy, or I’m knowledgeable.
In these scriptures the Lord compares us to plants or trees. Pruning is to cut off some of the branches for the good of the plant/tree. Sometimes it has parts which are drying up, dying or have sprouted stumps. And these need to pruned so that the plant can grow healthy and strong. In regards to us, God who knows all things: knows what is best for us and sees as necessary that we, too, go through pruning!
- trim, cut away, remove,
- reduce the extent of (something) by removing the extra or unwanted parts.
Another way we can relate to this process, is with hair. Some of my friends have gone natural, and their first step is to cut off the dead and damaged hair, which has been processed by hair relaxers, hair dye and heat. But when their hair grew back, it was in the best health ever. Cutting off our hair may not be as painful, but there certainly is a sense of loss. Old things are cut off so to make way for the new growth, the new level.
In my own life I have gone through many pruning seasons: cutting off relationships and parts of me, which would prevent me from bearing good fruit. The pruning has been heartbreaking and painful, and would often leave a bitter taste in my mouth! Like me, you may even tell God, I don’t want to go through this! After the cutting comes the healing process, and once we become stronger, the new growth begins.
Remember, the Lord does and allows all things according to His good plan and purpose for us. God is a good vinedresser, He prunes us a little at a time and allows us to rest; otherwise we would be worn out and become damaged (just like plants!). This can happen when we, as Christians, become more focused on what we should not do, what God has/is taking, or has taken away… but looking back at the benefits, we see it was worth it.
Walking with Jesus has a high price: it is leaving everything we know and have. The growing process involves, some self denial, pruning and sacrifice. We may experience that we do not want to let go of things, whether people, places or things (including our own personal character traits). But it’s necessary, The Lord wants to make us better. The Lord is graceful, but He is also a vinedresser! And He will cut out whatever He thinks needs to go!!
Whatever God is doing in your life, rest in knowing that He is doing a good work in you. It’s a good work, even if it feels like death!
Father God, you are alone are worthy, you are holy Lord. Thank you for being a consuming fire, continuously cleansing us from unrighteousness. You are our loving father, who hates sin and leads us to the correct path. Thank you for being merciful, and for being the healer of our souls. I pray for us to find joy even when we are being loosed from dead weight, may we love and rejoice in your perfect and sometimes very painful will. May we all become the best version of ourselves. In Jesus name, Amen.