You will be pruned by God. You choose the severity.

I was in a horticulture class in sixth grade that taught me the concept of pruning for better plant health and better production. It’s simple, actually. Trimming back the ends causes the plant or tree to send it’s energy there and work to produce more. Most serious growers do some sort of pruning every year. Sometimes just a snip or two here and there, sometimes a hard pruning that takes the plant to a level where it essentially begins again. That hard pruning causes the plant to grow stronger and healthier than it was before.

The choice to prune lightly or deeply belongs to the one caring for the plant. Upon examination, determination is made about the health of the plant. If it is doing well, a little snip maintains the health and produces more. If it is not doing well, a deeper work must be done to rescue the plant from destruction.

This is us.

God examines us, determining the health of our spiritual lives. He takes all factors into account, knowing everything start to finish. Sometimes our spiritual health is good and needs only a little trimming to produce more for His kingdom, while other times our spiritual health is horrible with branches dying and no fruit production. Something must be done or this vine (us) wastes away fruitlessly.

Notice that every plant receives pruning. Let me repeat that. EVERY PLANT RECEIVES PRUNING. Whether we’re doing great or poorly, we will be trimmed to make us stronger and healthier.

The thing is, we do NOT like this pruning or trimming. Not even the little snips. We like what we have, we’re happy where we are, but that’s not the purpose of our lives. Our purpose is to glorify God and bear fruit for His kingdom.

It’s up to us which kind of pruning we receive.

When we put our energy toward producing fruit, the cutting away of the useless and unnecessary will be minor. That means we look at our lives through the filter of glorifying God and loving others into the Kingdom, and take action based on that.

When we focus on us and ours, spending time, money, and energy on selfish pursuits, our fruit production wanes and God knows that in order to get us back on track with Him and our spiritual health in good shape, He must cut away all that is keeping us from knowing Him and revealing Him to others.

That cutting away of what we’ve come to hold dear will hurt, and we must decide up front the cost of that choice.

Let’s look at us today in the light of fruit production. Are you bringing God glory with your life or are you keeping you comfortable and letting that God-filter fall by the wayside? Time to pick it up again! Let’s avoid the deep pruning by aligning with God’s purpose for us.

Some extra thoughts…

I gotta tell y’all. This pruning thing is a fabulous, fabulous way to take care of plants. For example, my roses will grow and they’ll grow and they produce and, and then they get kind of spotty on how well they produce. And after a certain amount of time, it’s time for that deep pruning again. They’ve gotten to where they’re just not doing what they’re there to do. Are you tracking with me?

When that happens, I go and I cut back to where there’s very little of the plant, I mean just about 18 inches left of the plant. It looks really bare and sparse for a time, it looks like I’ve all but killed it, but I have not. I have given it new life. A new chance to be all that it is supposed to be.

This is what our God does for us. When we make choices that take us off the path we’re supposed to be on–they may seem like good choices, but if they’re not the ones that he wants for us then they’re not the best choices for us, and we have to be careful with that. We need to push toward the best, the most wonderful choices that He has for us, and leave the others behind. Sometimes we make plain old bad choices, and we’re not revealing him to others, which means we’re not bearing fruit.

Our God is so kind and so generous to instead of just wiping us away, which he could do… Instead he prunes. He cuts us back from this place where we’ve gone. And he cuts out those things that are keeping us from being who he designed us to be. He cuts away the things that are keeping us from him. And when he’s done with that pruning we may look like we’re all but dead, but in reality, we’re living a new regeneration of life.

I’ve been through some of those prunings. They’re not fun, but on the other side, when the growth has come again, and life is being lived, it is so amazing. My friend, please choose now to accept the pruning that you need. Start making the choices that you need, and live this amazing life that God designed you for. You won’t regret it. And yes, you can do it. I know you can. I believe in you. But better than that. Almighty God believes in you. He thinks you’re something. He knows it. And he is for you. He is cheering you on every step of the way.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!