“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
If we were to journal the question, “How is God pruning my branch?” What might we write?
What does it look like to be “pruned by God”? Of the two choices offered – being cut off or pruned, both involve separating something sick from something healthy. One is to make the branch stronger and to yield more fruit, the other … well, it’s a pretty deep cut.
Symbolically, there are undeveloped twigs, bent and irregular forms, shoots that might grow in the wrong direction, or the beginnings of an infestation. Trim them away. This kind of interaction being used to describe a relationship seems pretty harsh, doesn’t it?
It involves strategic loss, and discipline. How do we participate in intentionally disassociating ourselves from the things that are growing out of us? It sounds painful.
And yet, we can make the appropriate assumption that it is healthy, not only for us as individuals, but for us in our relationships.
So, two things:
If you ask for prayerful intervention for the sake of your continued growth and wisdom, it will involve pruning.
And, if you decide that this is a beneficial strategy for your own discernment, you will continually take stock in the aspects of your life that are productive and prune them.
Please deal with us gently as a loving parent and gardener. Keep us strong and fruitful and inside the wisdom of Your love.
About Joel’s Notes
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Joel’s notes are a curated collection of prayers, reflections, thoughts, ideas and other gems authored by CHI St. Luke’s Division Senior Vice President Joel James. To contact Joel, click here.
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