I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. John 15:1-3 (The Message)
This is a great time of year as gardeners plan and start to plant their gardens. Early crops like spinach, peas and potatoes can go in as early as next week. So, the cycle begins!
Gardening always includes pruning, and I was never great at that. I am a conserver, and I hate to prune back and cut plants, and thin those that can make room for others, etc. Yet, this is a necessary and important step. Healthy plants demand pruning in order to maintain health and growth.
Jesus knew this as he spoke to his disciples. He gave them the analogy that pruning is a part of growth. It is another of nature’s paradoxes that cutting off parts of a healthy branch can make it produce better than if it were never pruned.
Such is our life. Certain things must be pruned away to make room for healthier growth. Some habits and practices that we have must be cut out in order for better, healthier habits to take root. We have to be willing to let go of some old certainties in order to be open to newer, healthier lifestyles. “We’ve always done it this way” needs to make way for, “this new practice may work better”. Being open to new learning is essential for us to thrive.
Jesus tried to prepare his disciples for the new message his life brought to earth. He had to die in order for others to live.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the plans you have. Plans which are for our good and growth, Amen