When pruning a plant, the gardener places his sheers to the branch and snips.
“Ouch,” the plant would cry if it had feelings. Yet we know this process is good for the plant because pruning causes a branch to bear more fruit.
But what does it look like when God, the Master Gardener, prunes our life? God calls the Church to be a healing balm to a broken world. To bear fruit, our branches—our lives—require pruning.
Unfortunately, pruning is painful. We recoil whenever we experience physical pain. In the same way, we often avoid mental and emotional pain by self-medicating with things like food, shopping, entertainment, or social media—anything to help numb the hurt we’re experiencing deep down in our hearts. But these are worldly coping mechanisms.
The Christian life should be different. We aren’t called to avoid suffering but to embrace it—to pick up our crosses and follow Christ. Pain doesn’t always come from God, but He certainly works all things—including the painful things—together for our good. This enables us to bear more fruit. For His Glory. For His Kingdom.
Just as a grape must be crushed to make wine—and just as an olive must be pressed to produce oil—so, too, we must endure a type of transformational crushing, a pressing, before the anointing flows. The only way to get there—the only way to bear the sweet, life-giving fruit this broken world desperately needs—is by abiding in the True Vine, Jesus Christ, and allowing Him to walk us through the painful process of pruning.
Whatever trials you face, depend on God grace to endure so you can bear much fruit.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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