Today is pruning day! I've been putting this off for almost a
month now, and I can put it off no longer. If I want my rose bushes to be healthy and produce more flowers I need to prune them. The problem with this process is that it hurts and it's ugly. I often get poked through my gloves by the sharp thorns which sting and when I'm all done my rose bushes look naked...just stumps. Every year as I prune my roses I can't help but think of our lives as Believers and how our loving heavenly Father prunes us from time to time in order that we might bear even more fruit in our lives.
John 15 tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches. He is the vinedresser who takes care of His crop. He waters, fertilizes and yes, He cuts off what will no longer produce fruit, that we may bear even more fruit. This can be a painful process in a believer’s life and one that can either be received or rejected. As our heavenly gardener, the Lord, certainly knows what to trim and what to leave. He is in control of the pruning. Even though this can be hard, uncomfortable, difficult, and down right painful, we must trust that the Lord knows what He’s doing. We must yield to the pruning process knowing that the fruit is greater then the pain of the pruning.
L.B. Cowman said; “Many of the richest blessings we have inherited are the fruit of sorrow or pain. We should never forget that redemption, the world’s greatest blessing, is the fruit of the world’s greatest sorrow. And whenever a time of deep pruning comes and the knife cuts deeply and the pain is severe, what an inexpressible comfort it is to know, My Father is the gardener.”
As I prune my roses of all their beauty...taking them down to just a bare stump, I think of my own life and how necessary it is for the Lord, my heavenly gardener, to rid me of certain things that may hinder my growth in Him. I realize that although pruning is painful at times, it’s most necessary in order to bear more fruit each year. I also realize that pruning is just as necessary as planting. In fact, it’s in the pruning stage that I’ve personally grown the most in my walk with the Lord. I can honestly say that I've learned to appreciate the process, even though I cannot say that I enjoy it. I see that that there is even reason for the thorns that often prick me, as they are the things that protect the beautiful delicate roses from predators that are out to destroy them.
Someone once said; "There are many blessings we will never receive until we are ready to pay the price of pain, for often suffering is the way to reach them." When asked about the necessity of sorrow...Charles Spurgeon responded; “How would you like to be the one standing in heaven and be pointed out as the only saint who never experienced sorrow? Never! You would feel like a stranger in the midst of a sacred fellowship. Therefore may we be content to share in the battle, for we will soon wear a crown of reward and wave a palm branch of praise.” Be encouraged today if you are in a time of pruning that there is a divine gardener behind every cut. He is making sure that the cut is accomplishing what He set out for it to...that in the end we would become more like Him. Although the price of pruning may be great... the benefits are beautiful! Hang in there and watch as your life produces more and more fruit. "I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:1-2