Trees and Chainsaws
There is something delightful about the buzz of a chainsaw and branches hitting the ground with a loud thud. I hired a company to trim some limbs and branches away from my house and garage. They showed up today to do the work and they did a great job! No windows broke, no one got hurt, and the trees look great! As I was watching them prune the trees, a verse popped into my mind.
John 15:1–2 (NCV) I am the true vine; my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. And he trims and cleans every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit.
Jesus says in these verses that branches should be cut or pruned for one of two reasons. The reason to prune a branch is that it has died or it's not reaching its potential. A dead tree branch that is left on the tree may fall off and hurt someone or something (like a roof or a window). It no longer produces fruit. That's a good reason to remove it from the tree! Branches that are alive and fruitful also need to be pruned from time to time. They need to have newly sprouted branches removed so that the main branch receives the nutrients it needs to produce fruit.
The same principle applies to our life. Jesus is a Christian's life source. We find true life by being connected to Jesus Christ! God wants to produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control in our life. Sometimes this means that pruning, a cutting away, has to take place.
This pruning may involve things we enjoy but have become a distraction to producing fruit. Maybe a hobby is consuming the majority of your free time and has to be pruned. Maybe a relationship is consuming the majority of your free time and has to be pruned. Get the idea? These things are good, but they may be keeping us from producing more fruit.
The pruning may also be removing things that are stealing our ability to produce fruit. What steals our love and joy and peace? Things that we engage in that go against what God wants for us. I don't have to tell you what these things are because you already know what they are in your life. This type of pruning is necessary but often painful. And although it is painful, it is better than being removed from the vine entirely!
My prayer for us today is that we would allow God to prune our lives, of the good and bad, so that we can produce more fruit for others to enjoy!
Until Monday, Josh