When I think about remaining in the vine, I don’t like to think about the pruning that goes with it. Today, I was introduced to the greek work for pruning, kathairó. According to Strongs Concordance, it means to cleanse or purify.
When I think of pruning, I think of pain and letting go of something I don’t want to let go of. The purpose of pruning is for better growth. Pruning is intended to be freeing. It is intended to cleanse of things that are no longer needed. It lightens our burden. It makes room for healing, understanding and new growth.
15 “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. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:1-4 NIV).
If pruning is necessary to remain in the vine, why do I fight it so hard? At work we have been talking about what we are going to stop doing in order to do something new. It is the same idea. I need to let go of old ways of thinking that denigrate myself or others. I need to release negative emotions that promote anxiety and feelings of ”less than.” Allowing God to cleanse me of the old makes room for joy, love and kindness. I can offer these to myself and others.
So, I am asking God, ”What do I need to let go of or set down?” He has gently shown me many things over the years that have brought cleaning and new growth. I’m ready for whatever is next.
How do you remain in the vine? Do you allow space for pruning? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.