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Tuesday, June 4, 2024 (Aminta)

Posted on by Josh Heppner 0 comments
I love gardening!

Anyone else?

For the last several years, I have enjoyed planting shrubs and flowers; working in my yard to bring it back to life. When we bought the house, almost all of the landscaping had died. I carefully chose and planted new greens and flowers all last summer.

This year, the amount of rain has caused everything to grow like CRAZY. Most of my plants have more than doubled in size, taking up way more space than when I planted them. I’ve had to get out my pruning sheers and cut back the new growth, helping the plants retain their shape and fullness.

There is one tree in particular that I have trimmed three times already! It’s a miniature weeping willow tree, standing only about 2 feet tall but throwing out its branches much longer than that. The branches trail along the ground and it’s quite the sight. The picture I used today is that tree this morning… in fact, it looks like a bush! You can’t even tell there is a tree trunk underneath. I just trimmed it five days ago😳. If I don’t prune it regularly, it looks wild and crazy and unkept.

This plant is incredible because when I trim the branches, two offshoots grow in that place. Every time I cut, the plant seems to double in size. It’s amazing. Pruning multiplies the growth in an incredible way.

Oh the power of pruning.

It got me thinking about how God does the same thing with us. He will carefully and masterfully prune our hearts, clearing out what isn’t needed and helping us remain shaped like him. In fact, when God prunes us it’s so we can produce even more fruit and do more good work for the kingdom.

In John 15:1-5, Jesus tells us:
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.
He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

What does it look like when God prunes us?

Sometimes, he will whisper to us while we are reading his word, encouraging us to examine our attitudes or behaviors.
Sometimes, it will be a nudge or a gut feeling that we need to do something or stop doing something.
Sometimes, he will send a timely word through a godly, wise friend.
Sometimes, he will remove things from our lives, even things that seem to be going well.

Sweet Friends, pruning is not always fun or easy, but it’s necessary and always for your benefit. Can I invite you today to humble yourself before God, and ask him to prune your heart? Allow him to show you what needs to be cut back or removed so that you can live to the fullest in the power of his name.

A great prayer to pray is found in Psalm 139:

Heavenly Father.
Thank you for being the master gardener. Thank you for pruning me in love so that I can grow and live according to your will. Today I ask that you would ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.’ Prune me, Lord, that I may be more like you.

We are better together!


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