Patience While Being Pruned
“I Am the true vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.”
“Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.” Jesus has called us His branches and said that His Father tends us and prunes us that we might be healthy and bear fruit. However, this pruning that God does is not pleasant and often leaves us feeling less than loving thoughts towards Him. We are going along trying our best to serve Him when suddenly the world falls apart around us and we lose our most precious earthly possessions. At first we feel like God has abandoned us in spite of our constant pleading with Him for help, but far from this being the truth, our Heavenly Father is jealously tending us that we might bring forth fruit abundantly.
God’s pruning sets us free from the excesses we have let grow up around us that take up all of our time and energy. He prunes things that our hearts are attached to so that we might be free to set our hearts on the treasure in Heaven. Jesus says it well in Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” As we draw close to God very often there are things that we know we need to let go of and yet we can’t do it and we leave them in our lives for a period of time. However, God is faithful to remove those things for us as He watches and sees that we truly desire to be free from those things and yet cannot let go. He steps in and prunes us.
Many times, however, He prunes us from things that we have no desire to let go of and this is where we can get angry with God for His work in our lives. There are things we have that we feel we could never live without and God says, – “They are holding your heart hostage to the earth which is passing away and I have promised to set you free and preserve you for eternal life.” I call this pruning – A Severe Mercy – a blessing that we only truly appreciate years after He has done it. However, it is not fun for Him. He listens to our anger towards Him and endures it for our good. We are very often not grateful for this pruning process! If only we could bless His heart by patiently enduring it with a cheerful and hopeful heart. However, this hopeful heart is only attained by having our treasure in Heaven and it is our treasure on earth that He is pruning which means that our heart is being torn in the middle of it.
So what can we do to more quickly come to peace with this pruning process? Surrender – we need to surrender the things that God is pruning rather than trying to re-grow those branches. The pain remains while we fight to re-grow what He has pruned, but if we surrender and focus on our roots – digging deeper into Him and drawing from His Living Water, we will grow and mature our roots so that we will be able to support the fruit that will come forth as the season changes to summer in our lives.
I want to encourage you to not resist God’s pruning in your lives, but embrace it and bear it patiently. Set your heart on our treasure in Heaven so that your heart will be at peace and no longer feel the loss of this temporary earthly life. May God bless and encourage you in your walk with Him!