Who knew tree pruning could be so intense. Two hours of using a pole saw/ pruner extended from 7 to 15 feet left me tired, and sweat wet in my clothes. Yuck! It felt good to clean up. Anyway, the work is done and the tree branches are no longer hitting the cars as we drive or obstructing our view from the house. Much better. It wasn’t exactly how I wanted to spend my afternoon, but it was necessary. As I write, my son is dragging the limbs to the pile at the back of the yard to clean up the mess.
The branches were healthy, most of them had leaves, and some of them were even new growth. The problem was they grew too low and interfered with our daily living. It makes me think about how the Lord prunes us back. Until now I always thought of it as pruning dead or unfruitful branches, but maybe there are times we have new growth or other growth that interferes with His best for us which also needs to be removed. We must assume that if the Lord wants it pruned then there is good reason that it should be pruned.
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 one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. Jh. 15:1-5
Jesus Christ is the Vine that we ‘grow’ out of, and the Father is the one who prunes us. If a branch does not produce fruit, it is cut off. Every branch that produces fruit is pruned back so it will produce more fruit. Pruning is not comfortable or pleasant, but it is necessary. The Lord cuts off that which will hinder our fruitfulness even if we think it’s good, special, of healthy. He always knows best because He knows all from beginning to end.
Oh Lord, really? Do I need more difficulties in my life? Can’t I ever get a break? Well, not if more pruning is needed. He wants the best for us and if something needs to be taken out of the way Lord, You have my permission to do so! For actual vines, pruning maintains health, shape, productivity and size of fruit. It also allows sunlight penetration and better air circulation that is vital for flavour development in fruit, keeps the bad flavours out and prevents mildew, rot and pests. Perhaps the Lord is pruning us for the same (or similar) benefits.
I guess what I am wondering today is how many things in my life need pruning that I’ve thought are good growth but are not productive in the way God wants them to be. How many things are interfering with my vision? How many things look good but hinder my walk? In the end, I am grateful Yahweh cares enough to tend to us. He makes sure we have the best Light and wind blowing (Spirit) for our health and growth. How amazing that the Creator of the Universe cares enough to work with us in such a personal level.
Thank You oh Lord of Glory. You reign forevermore!