This was once a big beautiful tree in our yard. We noticed that all the leaves were falling off, and its the middle of summer. Within a short time it died and needed to be cut down. After hours of hauling brush and logs, we stood back and looked at how different the yard looked. There were new sight lines from the house. Everything seemed bigger, brighter and more open.
This got me thinking about this scripture:
John 15 I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vine dresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you…
What’s dead is cut away and even what is fruit producing is pruned to bear more fruit. There have been many times in my life where God has pruned and cut away dead branches. He cut away rage that was a dead branch that needed to go. But there is an area that He has to keep pruning and trimming. It still isn’t producing the way He would like.
I have always struggled with self-righteousness. I like to be right. I like things done my way and my way is right. And to go one step further, if I want something, I want it now. Sound familiar? Does any of this ring true for you? I can’t be the only one who acts like a two-year old. Over the years, I have let go of many of my demands and not just because I was told no. I have slowly realized God’s grand design isn’t always my design. I have begun to see how He is working in other’s lives when I get out of my own way. It hasn’t been easy to trust that others would do a good enough job especially when I would do it differently. But slowly I have begun to trust that God has it in control and that I can trust Him.
Today however, He did more pruning. I was the worship arts leader at our church for eight years. I know how to design worship. I have my own ideas of how worship should flow. I can be overly critical of a worship experience. And, I still think I’m right. Apparently, God thinks its time for me to let go of my need to be right. In worship this week, pastor gave a great message about different styles of worship and the different needs and expectations of worshipers. I was again confronted with my own self-righteousness. Who am I to think I know what’s right? Who am I?
Ugh. I have to say pruning doesn’t feel good. However once the old is cleared away everything is bright and new again. There are new sight lines. There are new ways of seeing God at work. Everything appears clean and fresh and my heart is renewed with the greatness of God. A God, who as a gardener, cares enough about me to take the time to prune, fertilize, and nurture into new fruitful growth. I remind myself that His pruning makes my heart more like His.
How is God pruning your life? Is there an area that He is speaking into right now? Are you willing to let Him do the trimming so you can have new fruitful growth? Leave a comment and share how you have experienced God’s pruning.