It is incredibly hard to “quit while you’re ahead.” To be sidelined in the middle of living out your dream. For whatever reason.
And yet, God, the Master Gardener, “cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more”. John 15.2
I well remember seasons of pruning. Of cutting back professional activities in order to focus on mothering my own four kids. A time of restructuring my commitments in order to keep the most important at the forefront.
Are you in the midst of being pruned – cutting back?
God may allow pruning for a number of very good reasons:
- Remove Disease- Often there must be surgery to remove something in our lives that is detrimental and making us more vulnerable to sin. Pruning prevents it from spreading, though it is often painful to give up.
- Revive Fruit – This process can actually help us produce a better quality of fruit. Pruning a plant in the right location can actually help propagate more new shoots. Our verse bears this out “so they will produce even more.” A temporary decrease can actually bring an increase.
- Redirect Growth- Plants that are cut at one point stop growing in that direction and increase in another. God often does this in our lives to force us into new or healthier situations.
- Restore Strength – God’s primary concern is our root system and if it is deep enough to receive nourishment. Yes, the fruit is important, but only if there is health below the surface to sustain it. Sometimes He prunes the outer in order to strengthen the hidden work done in dark places.
Left alone, a vine will always favor new growth over fruit production. You’ll see a full, leafy, beautiful plant, but few grapes. This is because all of the water and light and juice are going to the production of leaves instead of the fruit!
As we grow in our Christianity, Christ prunes to cut away immature commitments and lesser priorities to make room for even greater abundance for His glory. May we offer up this interruption to Jesus and respond with joy and gratitude — not complaint or resentment.
Let the pruning begin – we will be better for it.
Benediction: My child, I can almost hear you say, ‘Ouch!’ Because I have had to prune back something in your life so that you are better able to focus on that which matters most. Please know that it is never my intention to harm or squelch you. But you were made with limits, and by pruning back, your potential actually increases. Remember, it is only for a time. There will continue to be much fruit.Lucinda Secrest McDowell in “Dwelling Places”
May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”
©2021 Lucinda Secrest McDowell www.LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
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This is a good message to hopefully help us remember that pruning hurts but it is done for a purpose…mainly to produce better fruit…especially the fruits of the spirit.
Thank you! I am enjoying the gift of friends to spend time away this week. Your book Soul Strong is my companion this week while thinking about the pruning to be done when I return to normal life.
Blessings to you!
I love this!!! Especially cutting back to produce stronger, better fruit. This is good for us as we get older.
Thanks for the encouragement!
Susan Alexander Yates
Pruning culminated in 2018 but we know the Plant was better for it. Excellent thoughts here, Cindy – thank you.
Thanks, I needed to hear this. Being pruned in this season of my life.