Clip, Prune, Grow...

I've professed this before, but I'll say it again.  I'm not a gardener.  I really don't enjoy working outside, where there are bugs and dirt.  And I really don't enjoy sweating.  Because of this, I have quite a bit of clipping back I need to do in the front flower bed.  I'll spare you a picture.  It's close to embarrassing.  But then again, I can still use the pregnancy card.  So there.

It got me thinking though.  Pruning and clipping back is so important.  Those little plants and bushes are meant to be trimmed back.  It's sometimes scary clipping off what seems to be a healthy branch, but the result will be an even better branch, or two, in it's place.  It allows them to grow fuller, stronger, healthier. 

Isn't this the case for our own lives?  It's important for us to prune back and trim areas of our life that are maybe dead, or going wayward.  Like the small plants in my front yard, which haven't been trimmed.  They all have one spire on them that just keeps growing upward.  That one spire has no purpose.  It's growing out of control, and provides no beauty to the plant.  It actually takes away from the rest of the plant, hogging most of it's nutrients. 

John 15:1-4 “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.  

Just like my little plants in my yard, the Lord is constantly pruning and cutting off branches in my life.  Luckily, he tends to me and doesn't let me go wayward.  His pruning and trimming is perfect and needed.  I will say though, that pruning and cutting off branches isn't always pleasant.  Right now, the Lord is definitely pruning my life to be more fruitful for him.  He's growing me so that I can better handle certain situations.  He's removing some things from my life that I rely on too much, that I take for granted.  He's showing me that through Him, all that I need is provided.  He is our provision and will continue to take care of His flock, no matter the situation.

He's also finding in me branches that are not bearing fruit, and while those areas are the most painful to remove, in the end, those will be the moments that draw me closest to Him.  He's showing me that I need to focus in the areas that do bear fruit, and not waste time on the areas that aren't.

John 15:5-8 “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.

I am so glad to be part of the Vine as a producer of fruit for the Lord.  I know that apart from Him, I can do nothing.  I want to bear much fruit and continue to be pruned back again and again so that each time, I grow stronger, thicker, more abundant.  With each clip, I become more and more the person He longs for me to be. 

Bernardus, Carmel Valley Vineyard

And I am so privileged to have the Lord as my gardner.  His tender care and attention to detail is one that gives me peace and comfort, even in the midst of trials and moments of pruning.  He will sustain me.  He will provide comfort.  He will bring peace.


Caroline Haynie said...

This was just what I needed to hear today Sarah -- you have a gift! Hope you are doing well. I get updates from my mom about you, and I am glad to hear that you are doing well!