Posted on February 11th, 2011 1 comment
These pruned rose bushes exploded with vibrant colors last June. Brilliant red blossoms covered the brick wall. Now, looking lifeless and bare, I wonder if I got a little too enthusiastic in my attempts to start these out fresh, to prepare them for new growth. Truly the branches had become wild and unruly, growing in every direction. I cut them off and threw them away. The bushes are clean and ready for spring. But, did I go too far?
Do you ever feel like a pruned rose bush? The winter is passing, but spring is not yet here. The transition into a new season can feel exhausting and yet exhilarating at the same time!
Jesus told us that our Father in heaven prunes every branch that does bear fruit. This makes it clean and ready to bear more fruit. It is Jesus’ teaching that does the pruning.
Let me give you an example of how this looks. Jesus said that if you want to be His follower, you must continue in His word and as a result you will know the truth and it will set you free. But, suppose you are denying truth in your life. Perhaps you are in an abusive relationship, but denial gets you through each day. You cover over your feelings, make excuses, and pretend it doesn’t hurt so much. You keep hoping everything will be “fixed.” But, nothing is better, and things go from bad to worse. When Jesus begins to open your eyes, it can be scary. Without your old ways, you may wonder who you are and what God is doing. It may feel like you are dying. You are dying! …to your old nature that doesn’t trust God! Hold on! Holy Spirit will help you. Jesus will stand with you. You need to make changes to become free. You have to put off your old way of thinking and experiencing life. You may have to break through lies and deception. You will begin to grow green and produce beautiful fruit. Change is hard but possible with God.
Spring will come and with it freedom and joy.
I encourage you to stay connected to Christ, and it will all make sense in a little while. The Master Pruner doesn’t make mistakes. I may have gone too far when I pruned my bushes (I’ll let you know in June), but God always prunes correctly.
Believe you are ready to hear the truth and act on it. This is faith. It is what a believer does. Trust God.
You are chosen to bloom and produce lasting enduring fruit.
Scripture references: John 15: 1-17; Mark 10: 27; John 8: 32.