We’ve been in this house for a full 2 years now. It’s been so good! Yes, the changes we had to make to get here were scary, but they were also freeing. When we viewed the house just over 2 years ago, I fell in love with the plum tree and the grapevine in the backyard. We knew nothing about growing plums or grapes, but how hard could it be, right? Well, fall ended and we knew we had to prune. We thought we had pruned enough from both – but only the changing seasons would tell us. Spring rolled around and the plum tree was in full swing. But the grapevine…well, that was a different story. As the months lead into late August, we realized that there was a big problem with the grapevine. There was no fruit. Well, we weren’t about to make the same mistake again! We pruned all the way back to the original vine…and waited…again. This is When Pruning Yields Abundant Fruit.
Pruning is hard…and terrifying. Sometimes we aren’t sure if we are doing it right. We worry that maybe we are getting rid of more than we should. That’s how we felt both times we pruned our grapevine.
And it’s how we felt when we started to prune our lives a few years ago.
We were uncertain about many things. But then we started to see the fruit…and we knew we were in God’s will.
You see, pruning is seeking holiness for our lives. We get rid of the things that hinder our spiritual growth. Relationships, ambitions, our own agenda, material things, behaviors, attitudes…the list goes on. And it’s painful. So painful that we wonder if it really is the right thing to do.
Sometimes, seeking holiness is painful.
It doesn’t make us happy.
But pruning involves cutting. Cutting a branch that is still green from the vine. The branch still has huge leaves, but it no longer bears fruit – or maybe it didn’t bear any at all. It’s time for it to go.
Painful or not.
When we seek holiness even when it hurts, we will end up with a grapevine that yields much fruit.
That first fall after the bountiful harvesting of grapes, we were afraid to prune too much. We allowed our feelings to dictate our actions. The result was a grapevine that failed to yield any fruit the next season.
For over 20 years, I was afraid to let go of a relationship that had to end. It became more abusive over the years and the damage was utterly destructive. But every time I just wanted it to end, my feelings got in the way. It wasn’t just one feeling, but a whole plethora of them. Greif, love, sadness, anger, fear. And more. I also held out hope for change. But none came.
Obeying God’s word must be more important than our fickle feelings.
When we allow Godly wisdom and direction to rule our choices, instead of our feelings, we will end up with a grapevine that yields much fruit.
When we prune, we are giving ourselves over to the Lord. We are acknowledging that He comes first in our lives. His Lordship is honored.
The hope of bearing more fruit in the future overshadows the temporary pain of cutting off those fruitless branches. We are reminded that life is in the vine – not branches.
We may not see the fruit right away – in fact, most of the time, we don’t see it immediately. When we pruned our grapevine last fall, it had to go through the rest of the fall season, through winter, and through spring before it started to grow new branches and leaves. And even then, we didn’t see the actual fruit until the summer. I couldn’t rush the process. I had to trust that the vine would do what it was created to do. Bring forth fruit.
This season, not only do we have more branches and leaves, but the amount of fruit growing on that vine is insane! The grapes are sweet and juicy, packed full of flavor. They are delicious. They are proof that pruning is GOOD.
When we begin seeing the abundance of fruit in our spiritual lives, our trust deepens.
And the next time God tells us to prune, we are more confident. We trust Him more. We long for that abundant fruit.
When we put God first in our lives, heed His instructions, and build our trust in Him, we will end up with a grapevine that yields much fruit.
How are you yielding fruit in your life today?
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