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Friday, October 26, 2007

Pruned to Bloom

Taken from Biblical Womanhood in the Home

Read Chapter 6 (Pruned to Bloom) from Biblical Womanhood in the Home

Pruning is one of the most important tasks in growing a vineyard. Every year, up to 90 percent of the vine is cut away. A wise gardener knows that pruning positively affects the quantity and quality of the fruit.

The branches are constantly being attacked by diseases, most of which can be kept at bay with pesticides and insecticides. But the vine has to be pruned because there is a deadly fungus that attaches itself to the branch, and its only cure is to be cut out. Each time the vine is pruned, its fruit grows sweeter.

The Scripture often uses an earthly example to explain a spiritual principle. Jesus said, “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).

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Since you have given your heart to Jesus, are you sweeter? Do you make a sincere attempt to do what is right? Hopefully the answer to these questions is yes. However, even with all your efforts and growth, have you arrived? Are you where He wants you to be? The answer to that question is no. The fact that you have not reached perfection means you will be pruned—regularly...we need to come to the place where we willingly surrender ourselves to be pruned, as uncomfortable as that may be....“Remember, you’re just being pruned to bloom!”

We usually find ourselves in one of three places: We have just been pruned, we are growing back after a pruning, or we are in full bloom. Perhaps everything is going right in your life. Enjoy yourself, but remember that the fact you are not perfect means you will be pruned again. That knowledge will keep you humble during blooming season.

Or maybe you are growing after a pruning. Your growth will be stunted if you spend your time looking back on your last pruning with regret instead of gratitude. It can be tempting to walk in unforgivingness and bitterness over an unpleasant occurrence that was part of your pruning. Let me encourage you to let it go as you rejoice in the strength gained to move on to the next level.

Or perhaps you have recently been pruned—cut down to the nub. You look funny, and it hurts. Be patient, and the pain will pass. Rejoice that the fungus has been cut away and in time you will bloom again. Don’t stunt your growth with “What if . . . ?” or “If I had only . . .” Stop asking God, “Why?” and start thanking Him and rejoicing in His infinite wisdom, for He knows what is best for you. You will then discover your discomfort quickly dissipating.

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