Photo by Lori MacMath from All You Have to Give
I hate being pruned. Seriously. Cannot stand it.
And yes, I know, nobody likes to be pruned. Nobody likes those times when we are whacked of crappage that, albeit may include unhealthy patterns, has become so much of our person that, in the ultimate case of injustice, still hurts to release.
We feel naked. Exposed. Crippled by what this must look-like to the outside world.
Yet I know when those unhealthy limbs break-free, eventually fruit blossoms.
And yes, I’m thankful for the fruit and the grooming and the extra layer of wisdom that comes along with it but darn it . . .
Being pruned is exhausting.
But I wonder what I would choose if given the opportunity to not partake in the pruning at all? To live in a world that stays at the surface and doesn’t encourage me to dive deep into the crevices of a heart that longs to be exposed and known? To run when stuff gets hard, to harden my heart to others so it will be easier to flee when the inevitable pain ignites like a match lit in a room of cedar?
The cost is greater than the pain. I would choose the pruning over a life of artificial, a life of plastic smiles and little depth. Been there, done that.
And this is the truth I repeat every minute, every second when I’m doing regular life on the days that are just hard. On the days when I still have to fold laundry and help little people work through their own relational squabbles and feed hungry mouths and do so with a smile on my face even though my heart is broken.
This is the reminder I bury in my soul for those moments when I feel invisible, for the times when the loneliness and darkness threatens to overtake and convince me I can’t do it just one more day even when I know I can because of what He tells me.
I know the truth. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make me immune to the hurdles of heartbreak.
Pruning is horrid. No fun.
Fruit is beautiful. And all kinds of fun.
Unfortunately, we can’t have one without the other.
So I’ll take the pruning. I’ll go, kicking and screaming and probably throwing rocks.
But I will trust. I will trust the promise of the fruit.
Because the truth is . . . it always blossoms. But in His own time.
“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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” – John 15:1-4