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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Pruning sound painful. It’s chopping off all the bad parts, the unproductive parts, the parts interferring with the growth of the whole. Leave a fruit-bearing unpruned, and first it will grow wild and out of control, and then it will yield little fruit, poor fruit, or perhaps no fruit at all. This is such an apt metaphor for the Christian life – as Jesus made so clear. Left on our own, we’ll grow wild in all sorts of ways. Even “good” things may stunt our growth when they add nothing to our growth or our “bearing fruit”. But give God the shears, and he’ll prune away all that doesn’t bring us closer to him and yield the fruit of the Spirit. Yes, it will be painful (because we hold so tightly to what we want, and some things we don’t). But the pain is fleeting; when pruned, we will flourish and grow and yield good things for others (and ourselves!). And I’d rather be pruned than tossed away, wouldn’t you?
At twenty, I knew my purpose in life. I was going to be an artist, maybe own an art supply store. I was going to get married soon out of college, have six kids, and sit on the wrap-around-porch of a big farmhouse out in the country watching those kids play on our land. I’m not sure how those two dreams fit together, but there you go. It was my Purpose…
trials & temptations
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