Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them. —E. Paul Harvey
The branches of a grapevine must be trimmed back if the whole plant is going to grow properly. Without good pruning, the thing goes wild and ends up an overgrown, tangled mess. If Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, then somebody has to keep those branches in check. That’s the job of the Father.
“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)
Some of us might think that if God is producing fruit through us, we should be exempt from the cutting. Not so. The fruit-bearing branches still need to be trimmed and pruned. It’s not a very pleasant thing. It hurts, it might even be embarrassing. We will probably even protest big time. Hey! What’s the deal!? I’m growing fruit over here! Why are You working on me?
Well, for starters, He can certainly do whatever He chooses (one of the privileges of being God!). Second, if we accept what Jesus taught about the vine, branches, and fruit, we can’t claim that we are the ones producing the fruit (and so we can’t claim that we should be exempt from pruning because of the fruit!). But most importantly, why would God cut away at our lives when we are bearing fruit? Because it’s for our good and for His glory… even when it’s really hard.
O Father, I am a branch; You are the Master Gardener… and I trust You. By faith, I even thank You for pruning me. Thanks for cutting me back down to size when need be. Thanks for trimming off the extra baggage that weighs me down. I want to live in harmony with You and Your Word. Do whatever it takes for me to be set free to be all You have created me to be! Amen!