I don’t claim to know much about farming or growing gardens, however, I have known many people who were really good at it. One such person was my late wife’s father, Vito, who knew a lot about growing things. He had a huge lot on his property in Ashtabula, Ohio where he generally put in a very large garden, until his health slowed him down.
He loved seeing things grow and of course grew more then he could use, thus always gave much of it away. When we were able to visit him during the summer, we always came away with wonderful fruits and vegetables from his garden. Every morning, before the sun got too hot, he would get out into his garden to weed, clear out, prune, and water his garden. He knew in order to have a good harvest much work was needed, which he was willing to do.
What Vito and countless other gardeners and farmers have done, is what Jesus is saying about branches (in him) that require pruning. As followers of Jesus we are like branches in need of pruning in order to bear more fruit. Jesus said that his disciples have already been cleansed (pruned) by his words. This removing of the unfruitful branches and the pruning or cleansing may at times be painful or cause us some discomfort, however, it is a necessary step for us to bear the fruit of God’s kingdom. We may not fully understand about this process when it is going on, but generally later on during our pilgrimage we can see why the removal or pruning was needed.
As you take part in the spiritual practices of prayer, Bible study, and reflection, may you be open to allowing God’s word and the Holy Spirit to remove, prune, and cleanse those parts of your inner being that will allow you to become the person that God wants you to be!
Prayer, Lord of all creation, please help me to be a willing branch that is ready to be pruned so that God’s fruit can grow in me, and may that growth be shared with those whom I meet today! Amen. Vernon T.
Copyright © 2014 Vernon T. Jones, All Rights Reserved