“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Proverbs 3:11-12
Jesus uses an important metaphor to describe how the growth process happens in our lives. In John 15:1-5 Jesus describes the Christian life as a vine being pruned by the Master Gardener.
Vining plants often waste valuable energy and food resources in sprouting extra branches. In order to maximize the fruit, a gardener will prune branches so that all the energy can be focused from root to fruit. Branches that are sucking energy, but not producing fruit, need to be cut off. The pruning process allows for fruit to reach its maximum potential; plump, juicy, and sweet.
Jesus prunes our lives so that we might produce the greatest fruit. Anything not growing toward peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control needs to be cut off so that the fruit of the Spirit can form in us.
While the process doesn’t literally include painful cuts, it might be hard to say goodbye to areas of our lives that are wasting energy. Knowing that Jesus is the master gardener and has a good future planned for us can be helpful as we say goodbye to things that drain energy, and hello to a healthier future!