Since the weather is cool and it's my day off, I decided to start on an outdoor project. The shrubs around my house are now taller than my house, so I thought it might be a good time to trim them. In the very front of our house are some shrubs that are little more than something for vines to grow on. My original plan was to trim the shrubs, but once I started pruning, I found out that 4/5 of the shrubs were dead. By the time I pruned, there was not much left worth saving. I decided it would look better to clear out the whole thing.
All of this work made me think of what Jesus said about pruning in John 15:1-5 (New Living Translation)
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me."Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
We all know that it is not fun when God cuts things off in our lives...even if it is things that are not healthy. But as I looked at my shrubs today, I thought, "Wow, if you just leave a plant and don't prune it or trim it when it needs it, so many branches become unhealthy the whole plant dies." It made me think about my own life:
Lord, help me remain in You. I want to bear fruit for You, and when I don't, being pruned and trimmed is no fun, but I thank You for doing it anyway. I never want to get to the point in my life where I have not only resisted your will and quit bearing fruit, but also resisted your pruning to the point there is nothing left to work with. Remind me to remain in You and help me produce good fruit.