Friday, February 18, 2011

Preparing for Pruning

It's been a while since I've posted. I've been more and more convicted that I need to be posting more regularly.

Today's thought came from soemthing a student prayed out at our last Prayer Meeting from John 15:1-2 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. (2) Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Pruning. Fun to do when you're the pruner, not as fun when your the pruned. So why does God prune us? At my parents house we have some apple trees. Most of the trees we prune regularly. One was simply too big and complicated to prune. Over the last 15 years I've watched the difference between these trees has become more and more remarkable. The pruned trees havn't grown taller or broader, but their branches are thicker, stronger, more healthy. The other tree has grown much bigger, with branches shooting out everywehre into a tangled mess. But the biggest difference is the fruit.

In the spring time when everything is growing, a gardener prunes so that the energy being sent to the dozens of new branches, instead gets sent to the roots and the fruits. A sacrifice of one kind of more visible growth, for a better, though less immediately measurable growth.

Sometimes our lives feel cut off: doors close, we get sick, whatever. In these times I believe God is trying to remind us that branching off in every possible direction is not the best way to grow. He doesn't care so much about the quantity of our fruit, but the quality. God prunes us when we are trying to do more with our lives (and in our ministry) than God would have us do. When he prunes us, this is an invitation to invest that extra time or energy into our roots, into prayer, into our relationship with God. As our roots grow, the fruit we bear becomes juicier, plumper, more delicious. Yum.

Be prepared for pruning, and meet disappointment with investment in those roots. The harvest is just around the corner.

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