“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, NIV).
Many plants need pruning in order to keep them healthy. When we first moved into our new house nearly two months ago, there was a scraggly rose bush in the center of the back yard. It had been neglected for too long. I knew with just a little care and over a little time, it would be beautiful again. Pruning roses can be intimidating. It’s become an over-complicated process. Having to consider proper tools, protective gear, angles of cutting, fertilizing; some gardeners swear it takes skill that can only be acquired through years of practice. Why do we often make things harder than they have to be?
I’m a simple person. No apologies. Life is better for me that way. If you know something to be true, stick with that. No need to add a bunch of unnecessary stuff. I just looked at the bush, hacked off the most unsightly parts, gave it a little food and lots of water, and voila! Now there are so many buds that I’m anticipating the future beauty.
Got a complicated life? What parts of it are most ugly? Have you neglected your spiritual walk a little too long? No need to fear. Allow the Gardener to do some pruning. Don’t stop there. Rely on His Word to nourish and strengthen you. You may have let yourself get a little scraggly, but I know there’s a beauty inside that is waiting to burst forth.