SOAP Devotion: Pruning
1 I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
I forgot how extremely painful it is to be pruned. When you are growing and everything is going well and you are living connected to “The Vine,” walking your walk doesn’t feel so hard. It is when God starts carving things out of your life that the pain is the most apparent. The confusing thing is that sometimes gardeners have to cut back seemingly perfect vines so that they will grow denser, and produce more fruit. I couldn’t help but picture my mother-in-law’s flower plants. Halfway through the summer when the flowers seem to be at their peak, she cuts off a lot of them, so that the plant will be fuller and even more breathtaking. Each little flower she cuts is lovely in its own right, but she has to cut away even some of the most beautiful parts in order to better the whole plant. How bad my heart hurts when God starts cutting off my seemingly beautiful flowers for the sake of my plant, cutting away fruit that is sweet, to prune my tree into one that will produce even more. If you are in a season of loss, and it feels like there is nothing left to prune, take heart, and lean into God. Trust Him that sometimes you have to cut away the most appealing parts to grow into a healthier, more beautiful, and fruitful you.
This week I will guard my heart against bitterness over the things that I am losing. I will sit in Jesus’ arms, and work to trust the gardener even when He is pruning what feels like my most beautiful things.
Lord, brokenness can’t touch the way I am feeling, like my heart is being cut into two. Remind my heart, Lord, that when You cut back good fruit, I can grow fuller and more beautiful for you. Help me to trust in You as my good gardener. Help me to not grow weary of doing good.