I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
John 15:1-2 (NLT)
I think most everyone could agree (or at least hope) that if you a bearing good fruit, pain should be the furthest thing from your mind. Many of us are under the impression that by living a good Christian life, we should be free from trouble, worry, and pain.
What if I told you that pain is good?
So long as you’re connected with Jesus—the true vine—you shouldn’t have to worry about being cut off. But that doesn’t mean you’re free and clear from some difficulty. God loves us so much that He’s willing to cause a little pain so that we can see even more fruit.
I’m not a parent, but I’ve heard that many parents have a difficult time disciplining their children. It’s not that they want their kids to continue misbehaving, it’s because they love them that they don’t want to be the cause of pain and tears. I’m quite certain God feels the same—and even more so—about us. He loves us enough to take things away, cut things off, and redirect our paths.
The resulting pain of God’s pruning isn’t bad news. In fact, it’s great news! It means that you have fruit to start with. And it means that God wants you to produce even more fruit.
There’s an orchard near my house that looks as though it was overtaken with blight several years back. Since then, the keeper has done absolutely nothing with it. The trees are all but dead and intruding vines are taking over what is left of the branches. The owner doesn’t even care enough to have it all removed. It’s gone to waste and is being overtaken by invasive plants. In order to bring back a fruitful orchard, even more work will be required than if the keeper of the trees had just cut it all down when the blight first attacked.
God isn’t going to allow blight or invasive brambles to overtake His orchard. He is going to attack anything and everything that doesn’t belong there because He wants the greatest harvest possible.
So don’t get upset when the things that prevent fruit in your life are taken away. Rejoice because you know that God truly does care and is watching out for your best interests.
I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
John 15:11 (NLT)
Bearing fruit hurts. There may be a little pain now, but the payoff is more fruit in the future. The next time you feel you’re being pruned. Rejoice. God is working on you and He is working for you.
Daily Bible reading: 2 Chronicles 17-19, John 15