“It’s the remnant that is most valuable to the Vinedresser, for there is life in what remains.”TD Jakes
The pruning process is one that causes me to flinch, it’s not a pretty process. Lately, my husband has been in the process of pruning his plants. Watching him cut away the beautiful plants was hard; my 9-year-old even started to plead with my husband saying, “Daddy, don’t cut anymore”, but he assured us that the cutting was necessary and that the plants will be even more beautiful when it regrows.
John 15: 1-2 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.”
I did some further research about why pruning is necessary and it led me to a video that left a lasting impression on me. The gardener was pruning a grapevine and he cut off some little branches that had buds. Those branches would have still been able to produce. However, if he allowed those branches with buds to remain it would eventually affect the vitality of the entire tree. It would affect the future harvest.
It hurts and it is often confusing when God prunes the things in our lives that showed the promise of fruit, the little buds that hint at the promise of harvest. There have been many things that I’ve mourned over; I couldn’t understand why certain things had to be cut off.
The vinedresser has to be fully acquainted with what he is pruning. He knows the potential within the vine and knows that pruning the vine or tree will produce an even greater harvest. The pruning also allows trees to direct their energy into expanding their root system, in doing this they become stronger, more stable, and will stimulate growth.
Going back to the verse in John 15, it says, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit”. I think of a tree in our yard that has been fruitless for years, we’ve never had one fruit from it. It’s tall and takes up a lot of space, occasionally I would mention to my husband that we should probably go ahead and chop it down. I find that it’s easier to cut down or cut off something that isn’t bearing rather than pruning what seems to be bearing.
Allowing God to cut off fruitless branches is an easier pill to swallow than pruning.
I can say “I am bearing fruit God, look there is a bud, I’m producing, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and now you want to cut me?” “You want to take away from me?” I echo the words of my 9-year-old, “Abba, Daddy, please don’t cut anymore.”
In these moments, I want to hold on and fight to keep the things that I think are good, the very things the Vinedresser knows will affect my future harvest if it doesn’t get pruned.
In my fighting, I realize it’s a matter of trust. I don’t trust the Vinedresser, because all I see is him cutting, removing branches with buds, removing what I think holds so much promise.
Yet there is an assurance, “every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” The pruning is not out of spite or to punish us, it has a purpose, the Vinedresser is seeing what we can’t see yet.
John 15:16 says that God chose us and appointed us to “bear fruit, fruit that will last.”
When I choose to yield to the pruning process, I’m trusting the Vinedresser with my future harvest.
What is your response?
What about you? How do you respond to the pruning process? Has it caused your heart to be bitter? Are you holding onto buds that need to be removed?
Open your hands and heart today. Surrender to the Vinedresser who only wants the best for you. Surrender to the One who sees your future harvest.