John 15: 1-2 NLT I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
After purchasing a new home several years ago, we noticed there were berries growing in a planter bed. The following summer we anxiously waited to pick our crop. We were disappointed when we ended up with less than a handful. We assumed the birds found the berries faster than we did and waited until the following summer, thinking we would beat the birds. Once again very few berries. Finally, we did some research and realized we were supposed to trim the branches back every year in the fall. In fact, the research told us to trim them back to the ground. I wondered how it would be possible for them to grow into large vines with many berries. But sure enough, the following spring, beautiful green vines started to grow, looking much more healthy than they had in previous years. By summer we had berries. We still competed with the birds, but it was such a satisfying experience to see that we had cared for the vines and now they were flourishing.
We share a similar story with those vines. When we accept Jesus into our hearts we are planted in Him (the vine) and carefully cared for through our faith journey. As we begin to grow, God begins to prune our branches, removing what may inhibit our spiritual growth, and strengthening our character so we can become more like Jesus. If God didn’t prune our branches we would not produce as much fruit and our spiritual journey would become stagnant. Even though we accept Jesus in our hearts we would not be living a life fulfilling our purpose.
So embrace the pruning – knowing it will grow your faith into a beautiful example of who Jesus is. Soon you will see your branch has evolved into many branches filled with others who are now connected to the vine and joining you in producing a large harvest of fruit.