Picked For Pruning — Learning To Embrace the Outcome While Enduring the Process
Giving thanks when God decides to prune you to be more fruitful for Him
Flourishing under the shears
A few years ago I had been reading a book called “Secrets of the Vine” by Bruce Wilkinson and was quite taken by one of the chapters titled “Flourishing Under the Shears” that discussed pruning.
Since I worked as a cashier in a hardware store at the time, I was quite familiar with pruning shears and their purpose.
Pruning is done for several reasons, either to shape or direct growth, maintain health, or increase yield or quality of trees and plants.
As I read the book’s section on pruning it seemed to speak to me about my life and the time I was presently going through.
I felt I was being pruned and it didn’t feel good.
Things were being removed from my life and I was hurting, yet God seemed to be saying “I know what is best for you. These things are not good for your growth and must be removed. I know it hurts but in the long run, you’ll be glad I did it.”
As I thought upon what God was saying, and pondered what it could mean to me in my life, God spoke to me again through an experience at work.
On that day He stepped into my world and turned an ordinary day into an extraordinary one!
He found a way to make the pruning I was experiencing more clear to me.
It was business, as usual, that day as I greeted one of our frequent customers, who was also a local pastor.
He had come in to purchase some pruning shears he said.
“Okay God,” I thought to myself, “I don’t need another reminder! I am getting the message!”
But, as I was ringing up this customer’s sale, I took some time to examine those pruning shears and I said, “I can see how it would hurt to be snipped by these pruner’s blades. They are very sharp.”
I then decided to share with him about the book I was reading and the chapter on pruning. He said he had read the book and had even preached a sermon once on pruning, using a grapevine as an illustration.
As I went to ring up his next item for purchase, the realization of it all seemed to hit me full force!
For the next item he was purchasing was a box of very large nails! And it seemed the Lord was saying to me: “These hurt too!”
The message was so awesome to me at the time that it almost took my breath away, and now it gives me goosebumps just to remember it!
Wow! I felt God was telling me that though His pruning may hurt me, so did those nails that Jesus endured on the cross!
What a powerful message and I thanked the Lord for speaking to me so clearly that day!
Since that time the Lord has had to prune me several times, and although pruning is not something I will ever enjoy or look forward to, I have learned to appreciate it and accept it, knowing that it is for my good because He is removing those things in my life that might be a hindrance to new growth.
I have learned to use the pruning as a time to trust God more and to believe that what He is doing will make me stronger and more fruitful for Him.
Also, I use that time to remind myself that the pain I am experiencing from the pruning will make me more like Christ.
Pruning is necessary and beneficial, for God is shaping me and grooming me for the abundant life that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10
As I produce more fruit for Him, I enjoy life as a healthy, flourishing person and I bring Him glory by the abundance of fruit I am able to give out to others.
If your life is feeling dry, lifeless and un-fruitful, or if you are hurting and feeling “pruned” as I was, I would highly recommend that you read this little book by Bruce Wilkinson. It was and has been a constant help to me and I believe it will be a blessing in your life also.
“Secrets of the Vine-Breaking Through to Abundance” is a small book with a big message. It is based on John 15 and speaks of the Vine, The Vinedresser and four levels of fruit bearing.
Look for it in your church library, local library, or if you want to purchase it, I am sure it is still in print and can be ordered online or through your Christian bookstore.