While pruning my fruit trees in the cool evening breezes – I began to think about what I was doing, and looking for that spiritual point to ponder. I asked, Lord, what do you want to tell me about pruning these trees?
In response He spoke to me about which branches I chose to chop off and which I admired. We prune fruit trees to rid them of the weak or dead branches, to prevent the wasting of energy going to sucker branches and rerouting it to branches that will produce fruit more abundantly. Our pruning will also, eventually, improve the appearance of the trees.
He spoke to my heart, telling me that if my neighbor were to look through her windows and see me at work, she might wonder or second guess why I chopped off this branch, but left another. She might think I should cut away more or leave more on the trees. She might even question why I bother to prune these trees that seem to have such difficulty even staying alive in my ‘sand-over’clay’ soil yard.
But she’s not close enough to look at the individual branches. She can’t see from her house whether a tree is dead or just bare at the moment. She can’t feel the snap of the deadness in certain branches. She has no investment in whether or not the trees live or produce. Only someone actually doing the pruning can decide which branches go. Only someone close enough to the tree to do the pruning has that power and influence over which branches remain to produce their fruit.
And only God is close enough to my heart to prune away what will deplete me of life, and watch the healthy parts of me grow. Only He has made such an investment in my life that He cares enough to take proper care of me. He may use people that are close to me to do the pruning, as I used the big, long pruning tool. And some of the people that are close to me do cut me deeply, but I have to believe they’re cutting away deadness that weakens me. Only God is the Master Gardener in this garden of life, and I trust Him.
“Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 (Amplified)
“Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.” John 15:2 (Amplified)