Supermarket produce can’t compare to the taste of freshly picked fruit.
My dad grew fruit trees for years. Every spring, in order to grow the best and biggest fruit, he pruned the trees, removing branches that needed to go. Had those trees been able to talk, they might have said, “No, not again! It hurts too much. Can’t you leave us the way we are? Please, not that limb. That’s my favorite.” Nevertheless, Dad proceeded with the task.
After pruning each tree, Dad inspected his work. Regardless of how drastic his actions, he usually found more limbs that needed pruning. Some years I thought he would kill a tree or two with those finishing touches. They looked so bare, stripped of all but a basic outline of their former selves.
Yet each tree soon filled out again—more beautiful than ever. Blooms appeared everywhere. Rather than scarce, knotty fruit, he harvested large, tasty apples, pears, peaches, and cherries.
Left to themselves, the fruit trees’ harvest would have been minimal and of poor quality. But my dad knew what they needed. He forced them to produce a bumper crop of the biggest and best fruit year after year.
Imagine the trees’ subsequent expressions of gratitude: “Thank you. The pain was worth it. We’re glad you didn’t leave us like we were. Look what we produced because of the tough choices you made.”
When God prunes our dead spiritual weight, we often kick and scream. It hurts, and we don’t like it. He also trims the less productive, making room for untapped abilities to emerge. While we’d rather hang on to the comfortable ways of our past, God knows the familiar—like a worn out pair of gardening shoes—needs to be replaced.
Much good comes from our pain. Years from now, the seeds from our fruit will continue to multiply through harvests of their own—just as the master gardener planned.
Learn to enjoy God’s work so you can grow stronger, blossom, and bear fruit like never before.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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