It was beautiful. Vibrant leaves. Gorgeous blooms. But it wasn’t getting much taller.
Crepe Myrtles are one of my favorite trees, so I planted one. The single trunk soon multiplied into many and suckers nipped at the base. It grew only a few inches by the second year. I had to remove what was stunting its growth.
If plants could speak, they’d say “Ouch” when pruned. They don’t comprehend we’re doing them a favor. Plants grow through photosynthesis and from nutrients in the soil, but without pruning their growth is undirected and their fruit less than possible.
When connected to the vine (Jesus) by faith, we also inherit the potential to bear fruit, but pruning is required for efficiency. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2)
Unlike plants who can’t speak, I usually say, “Ouch” when God prunes me. Or “Can’t you figure out a better way to get me on track?” God knows I can’t grow in the right direction, at the desired rate or produce the fruit I’m capable of without a little help now and then. So he’s pruned me through sickness, disappointment, depression, discouragement, broken relationships, death and a multitude of other things I’d rather forget.
But I’m taller and leaner now, and most of the suckers have disappeared. I seldom worry and anxiety only shows up occasionally. My trust factor is stronger, and I enjoy each day God allows me to wake up. So don’t resist God’s pruning. Enjoy it however he does it, knowing you’ll be more fruitful afterwards.
Prayer: Father, enable us to trust Your pruning, realizing You are working to develop our full potential.