Yesterday it was a beautiful day and I spent a good hour or so out in the front yard pruning my bushes. They looked pretty messed up when I was done. If someone were to see them they would have thought I had killed them. I mean they looked awful!! When I was pruning I chopped them back so bad they did not look very pretty or appear to have any hope of ever blooming again. Little broken stubs just sticking out with no leaves on them at all. Last year I did this same thing where the condition of the bushes looked so bad you would think I should just dig them up and replant something else. But they did bloom again! As spring approached beautiful flowers burst forth and green leaves once again sprang forth. I had brand new flourishing bushes!
In the Bible it speaks of how the Lord prunes us to make us more like him and to conform us to his image. God is the 'master gardener' and does what he needs to help us bear fruit for him. John 15:1-8 says "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
It does not feel good to be 'pruned' but if we know God is working in this pruning and through it then we know it is for our own good. He is shaping us to be conformed to his likeness. He wants us to be his beautiful flower and to bear fruit for him.
PRAYER: Lord we know you love us and care for us. Sometimes we wonder why we have to go through things. When we are at a low point is when we look to you to help us. Forgive us for not staying attached to 'the vine' all the time. Help us from here on out Lord to stay connected to you and to know that the pruning season will be over and soon a beautiful life will break forth.We know you allow certain things in our life to get us to the point where we are more like you. Forgive us for not trusting in your plan for our life. In Jesus Name. Amen!