Pruning Pains

"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit" (John 15:2).

As we walked through the garden one morning during our summer break from homeschooling, my daughter watched as I began to pinch off the tops of several tomato plants. With a shocked look on her face, she cried, "Mom, what are you doing? We've been trying to get these plants to grow for weeks, and now you're destroying them!"

"No," I gently responded. "These plants have grown tall enough. If I don't cut them back now, they'll only grow more vines instead of tomatoes. We need to break off the top, so the energy of the plant goes toward bearing fruit."

"OK," she replied hesitantly in disbelief, "but I sure hope you know what you're doing."

The process of pruning can also seem shocking in our spiritual lives. When God allows circumstances that outwardly appear to destroy our hopes and dreams, we may react like my young daughter in the garden. Not understanding the purpose behind the pain, we are tempted to believe that God doesn't know what He is doing or He doesn't love us. However, if we learn to come to the Lord in humility and total dependence during these trying times, He will carefully shape our character into the image of His Son. In the end, the fruit of righteousness that God desires in all His children will be produced from His careful and loving pruning.

Do you feel like your life is in the pruning process? If circumstances seem to be robbing you of joy and causing you to doubt God's love, don't let your pain cause you to run from the Lord. Instead, run into the arms of your loving Father and allow the Holy Spirit to comfort you as God continues to perfect the good work He has begun in you. "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:2-4).

Father God, my heart aches from the problems in my life, but I choose to reach out in faith and believe You are in control. Please, show me Your loving grace and help me to understand the work You're doing in my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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TRUDY M. R 07/07/2009 02:48:57

GOD works in mysterioius ways ! ! To take this section literal, my husband and I have had problems with our tomatoe plants. They are full of tomatoes but they just will not turn from green. We have prayed about this for a few weeks now and didn't know what to do. When I read my daily devotional it was about "Pruning" and I was amazed and felt the tug on my heart that I knew was GOD. When my son did his daily devotional, it was also about "Suckers" that sucked the life out of plants. Now I realize that the spiritual meaning is very deep here and by all means take nothing from that. However, GOD has used this section to speak to my family in a literal way. Needless to say, I spent 2 hours in the garden on Monday July 6 ! ! ! I'll let you know how it all turns out! GOD Bless to you and yours, Trudy R.

ROSETTA G 07/06/2011 03:52:30

This is so true in all aspects of our lives. We have 18 children and we are always in some kind of disaster around here.Everyone is really starting to learn that no matter what the problem we can always count on Gods love in our lives. We are I guess you can say learning to prune back certain problems in our lives and just handing them to God and it seems to work out in the end. Thanks

TAMMY S 07/06/2011 05:58:07

I have begun to learn about acceptance with in the confines of our lives, in that all that we have whether good or bad comes directly from the hand of God....with that in mind and knowing in my heart that god is good, who am I, to not cheerfully and faithfully accept what ever God sends my way.....Its not what I receive that is of ultimate importance, but it is how I react that decides the measure of my faith.

PATTI C 07/06/2011 06:16:13

Oh yes Tammy! We will always have pruning done in our lives and our childen's. The key is to welcome it and react to it in the light of God, under the guidance of God, depending on God to direct us. Trudy, love the idea of the -suckers, sucking the life out of the plants. I feel that the sports seem to do this in our family. I believe in such things as non-competitive sports, so as to improve in your -own skill rather than -beat another, like kayaking, hiking, biking. My hubby loves baseball and most of our five children are in the league, one making All-Stars this year....taking most of our Spring and Summer then in Fall joining the fall ball league. I most definitely am witnessing first hand how it is stealing God's time. I guess I'll keep on praying for God to take care of it all.

RENEE R 07/06/2011 06:30:47

Perfect timing! Life is a bit overwhelming right now! I resolved to put away my foolish ways and focus on the Ultimate future. My road is bumpy but with God at my side I have no reason to fear. Thanks for the inspiring words.

CLAUDETTE J 07/06/2011 07:40:13

That was wonderful. Very encouraging. Thank you.

MAYA T 07/06/2011 10:06:31

This is very encouraging. My husband and I are being pruned right now. Even through this process, I know my Father in Heaven is right beside me.

LORI P 07/06/2012 04:32:50

So timely of a message - and so strengthening. Life this summer has been leaving me feeling nearly paralyzed and mired ... overwhelmed with the unexpected. Peace comes in remembering to lay it at His feet.

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