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I am not much of a gardener. In fact I don’t like to garden. I have two rose bushes on our back patio. Roses are my favorite flower. When the coral bush first started, I was surprised by how many blossoms there were. The bush produced two clumps of three and four flowers. It was beautiful. I was so proud of it (the fact I hadn’t killed it yet).

Before

Then several weeks later it seemed to have suddenly died. I thought maybe if I pruned off the dead branches it would grow again. Two weeks later nothing wanted to grow. I gave up. My husband on the other hand, didn’t. He chopped more off to the point there were only bear stems.

One day I walked out and noticed green sprouts and today there are more blossoms then I had at first.
It reminds me of the passage in John fifteen which talks about the vine and branches. When I became one of God’s children I made a decision to be a part of Christ and His work. In order for me to grow in my walk and faith I must eat and drink (prayer and read the word) so that I can grow.

But there are times when life seems to be stale and growth is little or non-existent. Those are the times I must be vulnerable to the perfect Gardener.   He needs to prune me. He will show me the things in my life that are dead and non effective. Growth may be inhibited by a habit, doubt, fear or something I don’t even know exists. He wants to cut it off to allow new growth. He also uses hardships in my life to prune me as well so I can see myself and the area I require trust.

Other times He will prune “good” things out of my life in order for the best to occur. There were some branches of the rose bush I left because there was still some green leaves, but that didn’t help. It wasn’t until my husband cut the bush down to almost nothing did the new growth occur.

After Pruning

I have been involved in ministries or projects that were good but I had not listened to God’s prompting to stop. It wasn’t until I listened and allowed God to cut those activities off when my growth, and focus took off. Did it hurt? More than anyone can know. I wasn’t happy but I did have peace and I was able to bloom.

Are there areas of your life God is asking to cut off? Is there resistance on your part? Why?

Ask Him today to give you the strength to allow Him to prune you. If  He is allowed, it may hurt but the beauty that will come through the process is nothing compared to what you had.

“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.”    (John 15:2  NIV 1984)

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