“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 15:2
When you read this passage and particularly the word “pruning”, what emotions or thoughts are evoked within you?
According to Merriam- Webster dictionary, the definition is “to cut off or cut back parts for better shape or more fruitful growth; removing excess”.
No matter which way we slice it, pruning does not sound desirable or comfortable. Still, I believe it is a crucial component of the seasons we spend “in the waiting”.
Therefore, we are going to examine the questions of: If He is a loving God, why would he want to “prune” us to begin with? In addition, What is its purpose?
The first and primary reason for the Lord’s pruning is because of His love for us.
- Now this may seem counter intuitive, although let’s look to Hebrews 12, verses 5 & 6. “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves…”
- For years, I believed God was like a harsh judge just waiting for me to do wrong or mess up so he could squash me like a bug or send me to Hell. Although, this is not our Father’s heart.
- 1st Timothy 2:4 says God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth”. Thus, it is in our failures and struggles, our pain and waiting that the Lord wants to reveal the magnitude of His amazing grace and love through the sacrifice of His only and only Son on the cross at Calvary.
Once we understand the Lord’s love as the motivation for our pruning, we can look to Hebrews 12:10, “God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness”.
- While the Lord loves us as we are, He refuses to leave us in the condition of sin we are in. Thus, it is through the pruning process He can help us get rid of things/people/thoughts not of Him so we can become more like Him.
- Notice, that becoming “like” Him is NOT the same as becoming Him. There is but one Lord over all.
As we continue to verse 11 of Hebrews 12, we are told that pruning/discipline may be painful at the time. Still, “it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it”.
- The benefits will outweigh the costs, not only creating a community but one rooted in unity and peace.
- We may also cling to the promise of Philippians 1:6 in “ that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Until the Lord takes us home to Heaven or returns for the second coming, each of us are “under construction”. Therefore, the more open our hearts are to His pruning, the more growth we will experience.
Consider, what areas of your life need pruning? Invite the Lord into those spaces and listen for His guidance. I also encourage you to find a friend to share your pruning journey, so they may be a source of support in prayer as well as give you perspective.
Much love and prayers always, Alisha
Here are five more songs as well for our praising in the waiting.
“Hills and Valleys” by Tauren Wells
“Seasons” by Hillsong
“Soar” by Meredith Andrews
“Walk by Faith” by Jeremy Camp
“Waiting Here for You” by Christy Nockels