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Name: Linda

Location: Texas

I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am doing what I've wanted to do all my life. I am a Christian and I love the Lord.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

“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 it, that it may bear more
fruit." John 15: 1-2

Earlier this week I did some work in my flower garden. I had a new pair of pruning shears, and I was ready to do some necessary trimming. Every year the Lantana freeze and their long branches die. It is necessary to cut them off so the new branches have room to grow. The Salvia had become long and leggy and didn’t have much new growth. The same was true of the Texas Sage that grows beside the front porch.

And so I went to work. Being a girl with a very vivid imagination (something I never seem to have out grown) I pictured the plants cringing when they saw me coming with those sharp, new shears. “Oh no. Here she comes again. She’s going to cut away with abandon, and it hurts. Why can’t she just leave us alone? We’re growing perfectly fine without all that unnecessary pain. Look we even have new leaves and are putting out new branches. We’re producing. Leave us alone!!”

However, being just a bit wiser than my sweet little plants, I knew something they did not. It was the very painful cutting that was going to make them stronger and more productive. Take the Texas Sage for example. I cut it back drastically last year, and its branches grew fuller and stronger than they ever had before. It produced the most beautiful lavender blossoms all summer long. It was a delight to just look at it.

The same is true for the Lantana and Salvia. I cut them back until it looks as though there isn’t any life remaining, but before long the new growth appears. In just a matter of a few weeks they are full, luxurious plants with beautiful flowers. The pruning was, no doubt, painful – but the results were stronger, healthier, more productive plants.

Jesus told us that He is the vine, and we are the branches. The Father is the vinedresser. He does the work of making us more fruitful. He does it lovingly, knowing that it is in the very process of painful pruning that produces more fruit. Like my little plants I dread the pruning time. I wish things could just stay as they are. After all, I’m doing okay. I see fruit in my life. Why is it necessary to go through that painful process?

I have been through a time of pruning – and it is a very painful process. At the time I didn’t care a bit about bearing fruit; I just wanted it to be over. The Father, being so much wiser than this little “plant”, knew that it was necessary work. He had something so much better in mind for me than the status quo. He wanted to bring me to a place of trust so that He could grow me stronger and healthier and then use me to bear fruit for His kingdom. I am still a work in progress. I am still learning, but I have done a bit of growing too. I have learned more about my Father in this season of pruning than I could have possibly learned without it.. He is faithful; He is love; He is my peace.

I heard Dr. Dobson give an illustration of this once, and I have never forgotten it. He spoke about a time when his son was just a toddler. He had a very bad ear infection, and it was necessary for the doctor to probe inside that very painful ear. That helpless little boy lay on the examining table, and the doctor asked Dr. Dobson to hold him still. As the painful process began, that precious child looked into his father’s eyes with such tearful confusion. “Why are you hurting me Daddy?” they seemed to say. There was no way to explain to such a young child that this was all being done for his good. He only knew that his father was allowing him to go through a lot of pain.

So it is with me. There are some things I will never be able to understand this side of heaven, but I have a Father who loves me and only does those things which are for my benefit. I rest in that.

  posted at 12:31 PM

At 3:08 PM, Blogger MugwumpMom said...

Amen! How very true. The pruning hurts and in the end so much worth it.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Boy am I glad that He is better at pruning than I am. :) Wonderful post/devotional.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Linds said...

I am also a work in progress and the pruning hurts a great deal. Lovely post, Linda.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Morning Glory said...

Excellent! I do wish personal pruning didn't hurt so much sometimes.

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Susie said...

I think many of us can relate to the pruning issue and how very uncomfortable it can be at times.
I do love seeing the new growth after pruning, though!

At 10:06 PM, Blogger CrownLaidDown said...

I'm so glad He is a loving Father, as He prunes! I told Him long ago, though, that I want my branch in Him to be THICK, so that the generations behind me will know the Lord, each and every one! I didn't come from a Christian home, but had many the Lord put in my life. He has been a gentle pruner and it has all been for my good. Bless you this week, sweet sister!
I SO miss my Texas garden!
In His Joy,

At 10:43 PM, Blogger on the Rock said...

Being pruned is not easy and feels awkward at first. But wow the end results! So much more abundant and rich because of it!

At 6:51 AM, Blogger Susie said...

Love this post. I have definitely felt the pruning over the last several years in different areas of my life. Very painful at times, but very necessary indeed. I am so blessed by stopping over today.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I love the way you write! You always seem to find some life lesson in the simplest of things - pruning! and be able to use it towards a lesson from God! Wow! Powerful!

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Barb said...

Beautiful analogy, Linda. But the part about the little boy with the ear infection made me cringe. I know pruning is necessary (I have a ton of it to do around here) but sometimes it's awfully painful. Sigh.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger PEA said...

I love your posts...you always teach me that everything has a reason:-) Pruning...I never thought of it the way you described it but it's so true...in our own lives we need pruning and although it sometimes can be very hurtful, it's needed and the end results make us such a better person!! xoxo

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Cyndi said...

I loved this! I can really relate to hating that pruning process, or just wishing it were over. It's been especially hard for me when He prunes things that I thought were fruitful, until I read that "He cuts off that which bears fruit, so that it will bear more fruit." It helped me so much to see that. And it also helps me to remember He doesn't prune from afar. When He's pruning us, His hands are the ones at work, and He is present.

God bless you, friend!


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