Pruning

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Well, it’s past time I chimed in and put my thoughts in on this month’s theme.  I try to help out as much as I can, but with everything going on…  it’s just hard.

So my question would be this:  How many of you felt or had the fruit of the spirit during the Christmas Holiday?  How many of you felt that, perhaps, you failed?  Join the club.

Just a little farming information:  Did you know that fruit trees need to be pruned yearly?  Let me take some pruning advice from The Modern Farmer:  “Within a few years of lovingly planting fruit trees, most folks find themselves with scraggly overgrown bushes, rather than the Garden of Eden they had envisioned. The key to keeping fruit trees attractive and productive is annual pruning.”

So, if the Lord wants fruit out of us, He has to prune.  Ouch!!  We don’t just sprout out of the ground and have all the Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control down pat.  No.  We don’t grow all that stuff, we’re human.  However, the Lord will prune, and prune, and prune.  Go to the link above and see what pruning is all about.  If I think about it in a spiritual sense then I hurt all over.

Under the “Clean-Up” heading it talks about clipping off all the dead limbs and the “suckers” at the bottom of the tree and the “watersprouts” that grow straight up beside the main trunk.  Then it says “With all these clean-up cuts, it’s important to prune the branches back flush to the larger limb they’re growing from — don’t leave little stubs.”  Back to the larger branch.  No stubs for us!!

Then there is the “Thinning” and I don’t mean of the physical body!!  (Don’t we all wish???) Anyway, back to the Modern Farmer: “The goal of thinning is to allow light and air into the canopy, which boosts fruit production and reduces problems with pests and disease.”  OK!!  Light and air.  Love that, letting the Lord with his Light shine more into my life!!  But it’s got to hurt while those snippers are going to it…..

OK, step three just freaks me out.  That’s the “Haircut” as they call it on the website.  Just snipping away with clippers all over.  Here is their reason: “The idea is to prune back the outermost growth of the tree so the branches become shorter and thicker as they grow, rather than long and gangly. This keeps them from snapping under the weight of the fruit, but pomologists (fruit scientists) will tell you that it also causes the tree’s hormones to activate growth lower in the canopy, making for smaller, more fruitful trees.”  Yup, just to make us stronger.

I’ve always thought of hardships in my life as being pruned.  You have to submit, you have to walk through it to reap the benefits later.  I’ve walked through a lot in my life, an alcoholic father, my mother getting sick and turning into a vegetable, a husband with COPD and brain cancer.  I’ve walked through it.  The Lord never left me, although I was really mad about my mom.  I still have things (or issues) I have to walk through and trust the Lord to help me deal with them.  Life isn’t easy.  The Lord never said it would be.  I’ll close with one of my favorite bible verses:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

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One response

  1. Beth Ann’s article reminded me of a quote from our December church newsletter:
    If we would be enlarged, we must accept all that God sends to develop and expand our spiritual life. We are so content to abide at the old level that God often has to compel us to rise higher by bringing us face to face with situations that we cannot meet without much greater measures of His grace. It is as though He had to send a tidal wave to flood the lowlands where we dwell to compel us to move into the hills beyond. God, like the mother bird, sometimes has to break up the comfortable, downy nest, letting us drop into empty space. There we must either learn to use an entirely new and higher method of support, or sink into failure and loss. We must do or die, fly or fall to our to our destruction.

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