Picked for Pruning
I had been reading a book called "Secrets of the Vine" by Bruce Wilkinson and was quite taken by one of the chapters that discussed pruning.
Since I worked as a cashier in a hardware store at the time, I was quite familiar with pruning shears and their purpose. Pruning is done for several reasons, either to shape or direct growth, maintain health, or increase yield or quality of trees and plants.
The book's section on pruning seemed to speak to me about my life and the time I was going through. I felt I was being pruned. Things were being removed from my life and I was hurting, yet God seemed to be saying " I know what is best for you. These things are not good for your growth and must be removed. I know it hurts but in the long run you'll be glad I did it."
As I thought on that and pondered what it could mean to me in my life, God spoke to me through an experience at work. That day He stepped into my world and turned an ordinary day into an awesome one ! He found a way to make to make this pruning I was experiencing more clear to me.
It was business as usual that day as I greeted one of our frequent customers, who was also a local pastor. He had come in to purchase some pruning shears he said. "Okay God," I thought to myself, "I don't need another reminder! I am getting the message!".
But, as I was ringing up this customer's sale, I took some time to examine those pruning shears and I said " I can see how it would hurt to be snipped by these pruner's blades, they are very sharp". Then I shared with him about the book I was reading and the chapter on pruning. He said he had read the book and had even preached a sermon once on pruning, using a grapevine as an illustration.
As I went to ring up his next item for purchase, the realization of it all seemed to hit me full force! The next item was a box of nails! It seemed the Lord was saying "These hurt too!" Wow! Pruning may hurt, but so did the cross Jesus said !
What a powerful message! Thank You Lord for speaking that to me! It was so awesome at the time that it almost took my breath away and now it gives me goosebumps just to remember it !
Since that time the Lord has had to prune me several times and although pruning is not something I will ever enjoy or look forward to, I have learned to appreciate it and accept it, knowing that it is for my good because He is removing those things in my life that might be a hindrance to new growth. He is shaping me and grooming me to be more fruitful for Him. As I produce more fruit for Him, I enjoy life as a healthy, flourishing person and I bring Him glory by the abundance of fruit I give out to others.
If your life is feeling dry and lifeless, or if you are hurting and feeling 'pruned" as I was, I would highly recommend that you read this little book by Bruce Wilkinson. It was and has been a constant help to me and I believe it will be a blessing in your life also. "Secrets of the Vine" Breaking Through to Abundance. Look for it in your church library, local library or if you want to purchase it, I am sure it is still in print and can be ordered online or through your Christian bookstore.