“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.” John 15:1-2 (NLT)

Last spring I took my pruning shears to a couple of rose bushes that hadn’t produced a single flower in more than four years. To be honest, I figured they were a lost cause. They looked scraggly and ugly after I cut them back, but to my surprise and delight, by the summer fragrant blooms cascaded from newly grown branches.

There are seasons in our lives when we need to submit ourselves to the pruning process of the Master Gardener. Outwardly, it may appear that our lives have become less than what they were, or that circumstances have caved in on us. But, Jesus tells us to remain in Him – in season and out of season. After the pruning, there will be new growth and an abundance of real and beautiful fruit.

Father, cut away all that is dead in us and everything that hinders us from living as fully and abundantly as you would have us. Help us to not resent your pruning in our lives, but let us yield ourselves willingly, knowing that the results will bring glory to you and will fill us with deep gladness and joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.