I thought it was dead but I was wrong.
On the stalk where I’d cut a head of lettuce a few days before, new leaves were shooting up. I had no idea lettuce did that. Amazing.
As I stared at the mini resurrection, I was reminded that, often times, we mirror what I was witnessing in the garden. We think we’ve hit rock bottom, we’ve messed up too bad, or gone too far. We’re past the point of no return. Or maybe its that relationship, dream, or our future that appears to have hit their expiration date.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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 15:1-2
Perhaps what we thought was dead, only needed pruning. The lifeless parts needed to be cut away so the living could grow and flourish.
God is the gardener. If you watch any good gardener, they spend hours tending to the plants. They water faithfully. God does the same with us. He tends to our needs and watches us. And he prunes where needed so we’ll bear more fruit. Maybe, where we are right now, we could produce a little fruit but with some pruning, we’ll yield abundant fruit under His skilful and loving hands. We become the best version of ourselves.
Pruning isn’t going to be fun. That might not be something you want to hear. I know I don’t. But it’s necessary if we want to be transformed into who God created us to be.
How does this happen? In verse 5 Jesus tells us. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. We stick close to Jesus and read His word and pray. When we keep the lines of communication open, we’re more likely to hear his voice and then obey Him.
Be open to his discipline. He disciplines those he loves. (Proverbs 3:12) I usually know where God is pruning. Or wants to. It’s an area where I’m resisting and my strong will is shouting, “No!” Sound familiar? Perhaps that’s an area we need to let go and have a chat with God about it.
Sometimes we’re convicted of actions or habits that are not good for us. Again, this is no surprise to us. God is telling us it is time to work through it. Call a trusted friend, a pastor, or counsellor who can help us and hold us accountable.
Or maybe we just need to let the relationship, dream, or future go. It’s dead, let it get cleared away and wait for something new.
Maybe it’s taking a baby step after lots of prayer.
God uses many different ways and people to prune us. We need to be open to His leading and brave enough to let Him work in our lives.
It takes trust on our part to let God do surgery on our attitudes, and our hearts. But God is faithful and He is with us as we go through the pain of pruning. In the end, what appeared dead is made new again.
What has God made new again in your life?