I think I’ve read this passage at least a million times before. But today, the Lord really focused me on a part of it I haven’t paid a lot of attention to until today.
Jesus is the vine, and I can only grow and produce fruit when I stay continually connected to him. (That wasn’t the new part.)
The new part is that God is the vinedresser, and he prunes me so that I can bear more fruit. I’ve never really thought about that whole “pruning” thing very much. I don’t know much of anything about plants, and I do NOT have a green thumb at all, so I had to go look up what pruning is and why it’s important. Here’s what I learned:
-pruning is selectively removing certain parts of a plant.
Pruning is used for four things:
-to train the plant
-to make the plant healthier
-to improve the plant’s fruit
-to control where and how much the plant grows
Jesus says that’s what God does to us when we are connected to him and producing fruit.
He carefully and selectively cuts away different parts of us and our lives to train us, make us healthier, to improve the fruit we produce, and keep us from growing in the wrong direction.
This was so timely for me because God has been pruning the heck out of me this week.
And, to be honest, it completely sucked.
But he was so clear to me today through this passage that it was necessary and was only for my good because he loves me way to much to leave me the way I am.
Praise Jesus that he cares about me enough to work on me like this!
It may not feel good. I may not like it. But it is SO worth it once I’m on the other side of it!
And, if I want to be a branch in his vine, if I don’t want to get cut off and thrown away all together, then getting pruned is part of it. Challenges are part of it. Facing hard truths about myself is part of it.
But, guess what?
Growing to be more like Jesus is also part of it, and that’s where the joy in all of this comes from.
Prune away, Lord!
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