“I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can’t produce anything without me.”
Pruning is the removal of branches (with its leaves, maybe even blossoms and some fruit), in order to make a tree/plant more vibrant, producing attractive, tasty and better quality fruit; pruning also trains the direction of growth for the tree/plant.
The process appears counter-intuitive if you are not aware of its purpose. It seems an unfair, even violent act, this cutting away of perfectly ‘good-looking’ branches, leaving the tree looking blunted, naked and having nothing to show for its place in the ground…but only for a while.
John 15:2 says, He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. So, He trims even the fruit-bearing branches, with the awareness that this trimming will lead to greater productivity.
Subtraction – taking away all or a portion, leaving you with nothing in some cases and with less in other cases!
Pondering this process has been a lesson in letting go of whatever keeps me from growing in the right direction, such as the thoughts which lead to feelings of anxiety and fear or possessions once prized for their temporary value. Whatever is completely removed from our lives by the Gardener is in our best growth interest. So as much as we may hurt from the immediate, violent snatching away of the comfortable patterns that kept us on one level for too long, we will soon discover our potential for excellence as we deepen our connection with the True Vine.
Say goodbye to whatever He sees fit to remove and look forward to the next season of much fruit.
Multiply – to increase greatly in number!
- Don’t mind the pruning; what feels like loss is actually preparation for your season of greater!
- Let go of the unproductive and train your focus on personal and spiritual growth!
- Lessen the attention given to people and activities which distract you from your abiding in the vine!
- Producing fruit is the result of abiding!
Today I recognize that outside of Him, we can do nothing! (John 15:5)
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