I’ve noticed that the bushes and trees I trim and prune most are also the ones that grow most.
I don’t have much of a green thumb; I just know that they keep growing and I keep trimming. Perhaps they are growing so well because I’m pruning so often.
Jesus said in John 15 that every branch of His vine that bears fruit the Father will prune.
“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.” (John 15:1-2)
Pruning sounds painful, or at least uncomfortable. Is that the reward for being fruitful?
I believe it is. Jesus certainly says as much.
The fact is that the more deeply we abide in Christ and seek to let His life be lived through us, the more our character will be tested and refined and stretched.
- We deal with the betrayal of false friends.
- Or endure a sickness that saps us of our own strength.
- We face a challenge that makes untold demands of us.
- We accept a call to do something amazing and nearly impossible.
All the time we’re bearing fruit and growing in our faith. Jesus sees and wants for us the one thing that’s best for us: more fruit.
And so the Father gently but relentlessly prunes to make us all He knows we can be.
And we begin to see it as rewarding.