Have you ever been in a season of your life and you felt like God was stripping you?
As if the parts of you that you held dearest are in the process of being cut away right before your eyes? Like sand, it was all slipping away through your fingers and there was nothing you could do about it.
Even though painful, cutting is sometimes mandatory for an individual to experience growth. In the realm of gardening, this is better described as "pruning".
What Is Pruning?
Pruning is a horticultural practice involving the selective removal of certain parts of a plant. These parts include branches, buds, and roots.
Another definition of this practice would be the targeted removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or unwanted tissue from the crop of landscape plants.
The pruning of a plant is critical because, without pruning, the plant will not bloom to its full capacity.
Pruning is necessary...
What may be disguised as a pulling away or a decrease due to the intentional cutting away (of what may seem to be integral parts of the plant) is actually the life-giving activity that is needed to produce longevity and increased fruitfulness.
Likewise, If you are determined to grow, there is a necessity to go through or for a better reference, grow through a pruning process.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful”.
-John 15: 1-2
Pruning & Maturity
As we kick off a brand new year, we are expected not just to grow older in the faith or even grow older in years but to grow up & mature in our Christian walks. There is a time & place in sonship where the responsibility of dominion becomes the next step for the child of God.
This, however, cannot and will not be approved by Heaven if there is not a maturity or sense of ownership that child of God has in order to maximize the season.
Think about it. A father would not gift his 3-year-old son with a mansion no matter how much he loved that son. Just like any good parent, this home would not be released until the son has matured and become responsible enough to properly care for that home.
Similarly, the case for multiplication and fruitfulness then boils down to the willingness of the believer to adhere to the pruning of the Lord.
It is true that whom the Lord loves, He chastens.
In a world of frivolous expressions of love and misinterpreted ideas of care, we are often of the view that if it hurts, then it must not be love.
However, what the Lord does is he overrides our desire for comfort in order to bring us to a place of completion in Him that would sometimes ruffle our feathers.
This grooming that the Lord puts us through is nothing short of His end goal of seeing Christ being formed in us.
The pruning of the Lord is essential in order that dead things can be removed. Much like the plant (which inevitably according to the Word of God we are likened unto), we must go through the process of removal of deadwood so that new growth will not be strangled but will have an unhindered path to grow and expand.
Too like the plant, pruning afford us the opportunity to be shaped. Pruning for the plant allows the horticulturalists to control or in some cases, redirect growth.
The Gardener and The Vine
As we embrace the pruning of the Lord, let us trust that the Gardener (God) has the best intentions for us.
What may appear to be growing to us may actually be positioning us for later heartbreak and chaos. The Gardener then, in His wisdom takes a prescriptive look at our future and like a skilled man positions us for maximum productivity.
I want to remind you that as the branches, we are only as good as our connection to the Vine (Jesus). The Vine, as far as we are concerned, has no impurities and imperfections, therefore, if there is the death of the branch it naturally concludes that the issue is the connection.
The Gardener sees this and redirects as needed to ensure that at the end of the day, there is a harvest fit for consumption.
Additionally, the pruning of the plant much like the pruning of our lives increases the yield and quality of the flowers and fruits. This means then that what we were destined to produce this year can take on exponential growth if we trust the hands and the mind of the Gardeners.
It is written that the Gardener is able to do EXCEEDINGLY, ABUNDANTLY, ABOVE all that we can ask, think, or imagine.
The price of abundance though, dear friend, is that of pruning and trimming.
Can you trust the Gardener today to carry out the pruning process for you?
Can you sit silently as He trims away the excess so that more can grow?
Are we willing to endure cutting for a season so that you can enjoy a more bountiful harvest?
I hope your answer is yes, so you can experience the growth that comes as a result of pruning.