Pruning for Purity
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener… he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
John 15:1, 2a
All summer long, my backyard rose bush produces hundreds of pink roses. I notice that it blooms and then most of the roses die about the same time. With my garden shears, I cut away the spent blooms. I imagine it sighing and saying, Thank you. Now I have room to grow and bloom all over again.
We prune roses, trees, and other growing things. Cutting away dead, unproductive, and excessive growth makes room for plants to beautifully produce.
In this same way, Jesus prunes us. While roses and other bushes don’t have nerves or emotions, we do, so sometimes this pruning can be uncomfortable or even painful.
Jesus and I went through a pruning process last spring. He called me to fast from something that I loved for an indefinite period of time. I resisted. I didn’t understand why He was wanting me to go without this particular thing. I wanted to know how long I was supposed to fast from it. No answer. I wrestled and went around and around with Him before I finally chose to just obey without all the answers of why and for how long.
What He showed me during that 4 months was my tendency to reach for it to find comfort after a hard day.
Bottom line: He wants to be the One I turn to for comfort. He wants us to place Him foremost in every area of our lives, trusting Him to be our portion and to provide the peace we long for. Any time we look to something else, it becomes an idol.
Now, before I enjoy this thing, I always think, Am I just enjoying or turning to it for comfort? He trimmed away the unwanted to make room for me to bloom and grow. How freeing and beautiful.