The Pruning knife rested on the defenseless plant. “Surely not that one!” I cried as the gardener skillfully cut away another branch. She looked at me and smiled: “Don’t worry my friend. It’s for the good of the plant.”

Watching and listening, I realized the gardener was not removing beauty from the rose bush, she was redistributing its strength. Each calculated cut ensured the plant’s future health. She called it pruning–subtracting to add, wounding to heal.

God calls it pruning as well–decreasing our fullness to increase our fruitfulness.

Submitting to God’s pruning can be painful. Yielding requires persistent faith. We must hold tightly to God’s character with tears in our eyes.

But our Master Gardener is trustworthy. He loves us too much to elevate looking good above being good. With each cut of His “pruning knife,” God thins our lives in order to thicken our character.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:1-2

Jesus, You are the vine, and we are the branches. Though it may hurt, we ask You to prune our lives. We trust You. We trust Your love. Your pruning is purposeful. It lets us bear more fruit for You.

Chole, Alicia Britt. “The Joy of God’s Love: Perfect Pruning.” Pure Joy: Words of Encouragement and Hope. Nashville, TN: J. Countryman, 2003. Print.