|photo credit: stockfreeimages.com|
Yes, it is painful.
"Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes,and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit." -John 15:2
I am so weak and fragile right now. I have found myself fearful and timid and angry. And I get so upset at myself. Where is the brave, bold woman of God I know I was?
And the Lord turned on some lightbulbs in my head.
First, my irritation and indignation at my frailty and lack of courage reveal I've been too focused on who I am, and not who He is. After all, I know very well that the courage, boldness and peace I had before were from the Lord, not myself.
Secondly, I am being pruned.
A few years ago I had a revelationary (I don't think that's actually a word but it should be) conversation about pruning with a friend of mine. A fellow sister of Christ, she was working in a plant nursery at the time and couldn't help but dwell on the truths of God as she went about her duties, such as pruning.
We talked about how you prune a plant so the branch will grow back stronger and able to bear more fruit. You have to prune it at just the right spot in just the right way, but we know our God is the Master of Master Gardeners and we can trust His skill and wisdom. A plant looks very ugly after it's pruned, but it will never reach its full potential without it.
And the revelation I had was from the prospective of the branch. First off, a branch probably can't tell the difference between being pruned and being cut off at the moment of pruning. Secondly, for the branch it probably seems like they're covering the same ground all over again. Maybe they did it wrong the first time. But most of the time you don't prune the branch because it's growing crooked (ie correction, though that does happen from time to time) but instead because it's a good branch you just want to get more out of...
So I realized if I'm being pruned instead of dwelling on my faults I should dwell on His skill and wisdom. I should rejoice in the plans He has for me. And if I know God brought out courage and boldness in me previously, I should rejoice because He will, through His life flowing in me as I abide in Him, grow these back stronger than before. This is preparing me to bear more fruit, and I must rightfully rejoice in Him and that Truth.
Love to you all, and may He prune you.