“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 NIV
I am truly having a case of déjà vu today!!!! I either dreamed I wrote this devotion because I searched through all the ones on my blog and I cannot find them!! (UPDATE: success! I found the original devotion I wrote on this topic…you can see it here:https://lifeinspiredbygod.com/2010/11/13/daily-devotion-161/ and see this one too: https://lifeinspiredbygod.com/2009/12/22/daily-devotion-107/) Anyway…I wish I could shout to you how much this scripture means to me. Look at the screenshot below from my vision board:
In the bottom left there is a picture of pruning shears. God gave me revelation on some of the things I want–true companionship with my future husband and doing everything He put me here to do while I’m on Earth–and it was this very picture that spoke to me the most. I had to be pruned–pruned of negative attitudes, old habits and bad behaviors, fear, doubt, worry–everything that sought to keep me from God’s blessings. I thought about this yesterday as I talked with one of my friends about how my recent loss of friends (rather, God’s pruning me of them as I realized, His removing them from my life) had made me feel. I honestly know this was God’s will, because one of the persons was genuinely not happy about what God had chosen to do in my life, and the other…well I don’t know about him lol.
Pruning as Jesus relays above, prepares you for more growth. Dang, it just hit me. PRUNING prepares you for more growth. It is a part of the process, you cannot truly grow unless you have been thoroughly pruned. I remember being outside with my daddy growing up, and he was pulling the old rose blossoms off the vine. It was then that he said you have to pull off the dead blooms so more can grow (Thanks Daddy!!). I never fully understood that concept until now…things that had once blossomed in your life and have since died, it has shed its leaves and dried up–it cannot grow anymore! It can no longer be that beautiful rose you once saw. It now barely, if at all, resembles the beautiful blossom it once was. Life has been sucked out of it, and if it is not removed or doesn’t fall off, it can leach the lifeblood from the remaining vine and nearby buds.
It dawned on me yesterday and it was confirmed today in talking to one of my friends (thanks Shawnda): sometimes we have to stop clinching these things and people so tightly–especially in the process of being prepared because God has to work on us now. How can you experience that increase or receive those blessings if you will not allow God to take away the thorns–those things about you that make you less than appealing to others at times? Ladies, would you rather have a thorny bouquet with some dead buds or a dozen (or more) long-stemmed roses? And fellas, be forewarned lol thorny roses are not necessarily the best gift, so don’t go picking roses off someone’s bush! (just kidding, but really don’t do that) They both smell great, but to enjoy the latter you must accept the pain that comes with it because it is a part of the nature of that flower. (Yeah that one was for me lol) HOW can you honestly expect to be able to sail to the next destination with the anchor still stuck in the bed of the harbor? You have to allow that pruning process–but take it from me, do it with open hands because it sure does hurt to be pruned and have things snatched out of your grasp! You are in a season where you are being prepared and to prepare for that next harvest, the weeds, brambles, sticks, stones, and parasites must be eradicated! Ask yourself, who IS sucking the life out of you???
Until next time: allow the process and think how much better you will look after it is over!
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:7-8 NIV