Lookers on this morning may have considered me mad. Grinning with determination and armed with my heavy duty clippers I was taking down limbs with quite fervor. Looking on the pile of branches with lush green, fresh sprouted leaves you might consider me a herbicidal maniac. Don’t alert the preservationists yet! Hear me out first, eh?
This tree in our front yard has grown a lot in the 13 years we have dwelled here. Lately its massive growth spurts caused its branches to reach quite wide. In fact the width of growth is such that it is impeding the puny crepe myrtle that is near it. Branches have clogged our gutters and anyone much taller than my 67 inches could not walk up to our door without a graze or a whack from said branches. For the sake of its surrounding environment the tree needed to be pruned.
However, it was not only for the sake of the gutters, the passersby, or the struggling crepe myrtle that our tree needed pruning. It was for her sake as well. The goal for our tree is to grow nice and tall. This allows her to thrive! She can host birds nests, catch rain drops and sun light and do all things that make her a healthy tree. The taller she climbs the more freedom she will have to stretch out in width as well.
Currently she was growing so wide and it suited her just fine to do it, that she didn’t put much effort on reaching new heights. Thus, she had to be pruned.
Aren’t we much like that tree? We are intended to grow and reach heights and depths of spiritual growth. However, sometimes we are spread too wide and too thin. Our breadth is too wide that we cannot achieve the depth or height that is intended. So, we too must be pruned.
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.John 15:2
Our Lord has a plan for our growth. When we branch out in either too many or the wrong directions we will feel the sting of pruning. It is necessary for us to achieve new heights.
So my aim this morning was not to harm our tree. I had to cut off the unruly branches so the ones that remain could be more fruitful by growing to new heights.
What unnecessary branches are needing pruned from your life so you may grow to new spiritual heights?
What branches are bearing fruit? What branches can you see being cut off in order for your fruitful branches to become more abundant?
Pray and ask the Lord to reveal these things to you.
For more reading on Pruning in addition to the scripture noted the author recommends : Secrets of the Vine: Breaking Through To Abundance by Bruce Wilkinson