Pruning the Plant
In this blog post, I will examine how we tend to our own growth as well as helping others grow.
John 15:1-3 (New Living Translation)
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 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. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.
How often do we let the ugliness of every day life take over our hearts?
When we bought our house, there was a very dead plant in the back yard. I wanted to chop it down and just never got to it. I went into the back yard one day, and through the dead branches, through the ugliness, there was a beautiful plant with a lot of beautiful flowers. i spent almost an entire day cutting the dead stuff away. There was a lot there. I was so glad I didnt just get rid of the whole plant. There was beauty in it.
We usually have to cut the dead branches from our lives to see the beauty that can grow. that stuff just stunts our spiritual growth.
It isn't only the ugly stuff in life that does that to us. We usually assume that since we have started one good work, that is our calling and that is what we must do for the rest of our lives. Our lives change, our callings change. In one season of your life, you may be called to serve the children. Next you may feel called to help the need. Sometimes you have to cut off something that is perfectly good in order to allow something else beautiful to grow in it's place. With plants, you can see exactly when it needs to be pruned. With ourselves, we just have to trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Most likely, if you are losing the passion for what you are doing, it might be time to move on. Although in some cases, the "plant" might just need some water. That would be encouragement for us ;) The trick is to be able to know the difference.
Some plants shed their own flowers to allow new ones to grow. Some plants have to be pruned. Take a rose bush. They will just hold on to a dead flower for a long time. If you cut the dead bud off the plant, it grows much quicker. I recently had someone ask me if I even still wanted to do something I have been doing. It took that person asking me to realize that perhaps that ministry needed to be pruned so something I am more passionate about at the time can grow and bear fruit.
Then of course you have your obvious sort of pruning. Sometimes we allow sin to come into our lives. It might not be causing us to die, but it may still be stunting our growth.
Take time to notice if certain areas of your life, or heart need to be pruned. Be an encouragement to others. If you see that someone needs "pruning" encourage them. Sometimes we can't see the things in our own lives that we need to get rid of. Make room for more beautiful things to grow in your life and in the life of others.