by Neil Anderson
PRUNING THE BRANCHES
Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit
Our goal is to abide in Christ, not to bear fruit. Jesus promised that if we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit (John1 5:5).
In order that we may bear more fruit, God the Father prunes us. Sometimes well-meaning Christians have cut too much too soon, hindering growth. A dear but sadly abused child of God pictured her experience in the following poem:
A friend of mine whose grapevines died was about to throw them away.
I said, "I'll take your vines and make something special of them today."
As I gently bent one vine, entwining round and round,
A rustic wreath began to form, potential did abound.
One vine would not go where it should, and anxious as I was,
I forced it so to change its shape, it broke--and what the cause?
If I had taken precious time to slowly change its form,
It would have made a lovely wreath, not a dead vine, broken, torn.
As I finished bending, adding blooms, applying trim,
I realized how that rustic wreath is like my life within.
You see, so many in my life have tried to make me change.
They've forced my spirit anxiously, I tried to rearrange.
But when the pain was far too great, they forced my fragile form;
I plunged far deeper in despair, my spirit broken, torn.
Then God allowed a gentle one who knew of dying vines,
To kindly, patiently allow the Lord to take His time.
And though the vine has not yet formed a decorative wreath,
I know that with God's servant's help one day when Christ I meet
He'll see a finished circle, a perfect gift to Him.
It will be a finished product, a wreath with all the trim.
So as you look upon this gift, the vine round and complete,
Remember God is using you to gently shape His wreath.
Father God, thank You for Your unconditional love and acceptance.
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