“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

 

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 FOSTERS FRUITFUL GROWTH

 

It was August when we moved onto the country acreage that we inhabited for many happy years. The land was overgrown, and not in a nice way. Previous owners had neglected trees, shrubs, and flowers for far too long. We found surprises under deadfall: rhubarb plants, Nanking cherry trees, and even a rosebush with a few scrawny roses in the loveliest shade of peachy pink. Early snows made it impossible to do much yard work that first year, giving us much to dream about during the long winter.

Exploring the land when winter finally ended, I found the rosebush again. It looked sad and weak and I worried about it. I told my gardener husband and he promised to take care of it. That evening after dinner, I found him outside, gloved, with a trimmer in his hand. Beside him was a pile of branches and twigs, many still green.

“What have you done?” I shouted.

“I murtilized it,” he laughed, using a made-up word I assumed was a combination of murdered and fertilized.

“You’ve killed it!” I pouted, teary-eyed.

“I had to,” he tried to explain calmly. “Don’t you remember what the Word says? You’ll have to trust me. Just wait and see.”

 

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)

 

Sure enough, according to the words of the gardener (as well as the Word of the Master Gardener), by late that summer we had a healthy, blooming rosebush, bigger than ever!

 

GROWING WILD IS NOT THE SAME AS GROWING FREE

 

We like to think we grow best when we are wild, left alone to go our own way. No one enjoys the pruning process, preferring to avoid the pain, just like we tend to avoid discipline.

 

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace
for those who have been trained by it.

(Hebrews 12:11)

 

Over the years, as I saw things I was once able to do become difficult, even impossible, I have cried out to God. “Why are You stripping everything away? Is there a good reason for all this?”

His answer is the same as my husband’s response about the rosebush. “You’ll have to trust Me. Just wait and see.”

Just like the rosebush was freed to grow and bloom, we are truly freed by the Lord’s loving but firm hand – to be all that He designed us to be. We may not be able to imagine the results, but He can. Growing wild or growing free? What is your choice?

 

Father God, thank you for Your love for each of us. Help us to ”wait and see” when the pruning hurts. Give us the wisdom and understanding to experience true freedom. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Have you given God permission to tend to the garden of your heart?
  • Can you remember something that was painful at the time, but that provided an unexpected good result?
  • How could your story inspire someone else?

Karin Fendick

Karin Fendick

Contributing Writer and Prayer Team

Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord, saved by grace, a worshiper, a poet, a broken heart, a lover of words, His work in progress on the Potter's wheel. She is hungry for truth and amazed by love. After five years in Africa, Karin and Rick (her beloved husband of twenty years), are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. She is the author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).

Stewardship of Courage

Stewardship of Courage

The stewardship of courage begins with a deep faith in God, accessed by prayer, and lived out in patient waiting and hopeful trust.

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