Pruning whispers a metaphor every spring, but this year it seemed to grab me by the face and look me directly in the eyes.
Pruning primarily consists of removing old growth—the cutting away of that which was once vibrant and fruitful. Even the most sentimental of us acquiesce to ordinary pruning.
But sometimes the gardener has to snip a healthy, living branch for the overall good or the grand design of the garden. Sometimes two healthy branches are growing too closely to each other or to a neighbor. Sometimes a healthy twig that bloomed once is trimmed to force it to bloom twice next year.
This is the pruning we find difficult and even object to. We cry out and demand that the Gardener explain Himself. We resist His shears or bristle at His touch because we can’t look past the cut or the void left behind. We can’t imagine new growth in the immediacy of our loss.
But we must trust Him who makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We must believe that He will be faithful to complete the good work He has begun in us (Philippians 1:6). We must rest in the promise that He prunes every branch that does bear fruit so that it will bear more fruit (John 15). Apart from Him, we can do nothing.
March 21, 2020