Have you ever been stuck? Have you ever wondered why things are not going right? Have you wondered why certain things come to an end? The questions pile up, your mind keeps racing. You don’t get what is going on. You don’t understand why you didn’t get what you have been praying for.
I have been there. The hurt has been real. The confusion took over and I was mad. I was upset with God. I am going to be honest, I was mad at God. I then, in my own crazy way, would rebel. I would stop praying. I was basically a 20 something toddler throwing a tantrum. Now that’s an image. Can you imagine me in a grocery store, throwing myself on the floor because I could not get that one cereal that I wanted? Now, that was not why I was mad but it can be a bit humoring to think about it that way. However, I don’t know any more what I was mad about. I just remember being mad. Sometimes the anger takes over to something that doesn’t even make sense now.
There was a verse that always spoke to me in a way. It was refreshing.
John 15:1-2 (ESV), “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
When we don’t get things we think we should, we get upset. We go back to a “me” state of mind. “Well, I did this therefore I should receive this”. Or when we don’t get picked for something, we get our feelings hurt. However, that isn’t how we should be thinking of things.
“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away”.
That echoes in my heart. There are plenty of times that I wanted something so bad, but I didn’t get it. I couldn’t understand why not me. However, God knows why not me. He knows that is something that will never bear fruit. He knows that, it could be damaging and He takes it away. It’s a way of protecting us. Though, there are times, when He wants us to go through those tough times. In this instance, I want you to understand, God has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11). God has each of us go through different things for a reason, a reason we won’t know of right away. Though there are times when He doesn’t want us going through something that looks great for the moment but it will cause a chain to wrap around us that we don’t see.
And every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. I have plants outside my house and there is this one, beautiful pink plant. My husband just asked me, “hey did you see the bougainvillea?”(oh, and I can’t pronounce that plants name.) I look at it, in shock, the flowers are gone. My husband clearly sees that I am not taking it well at first, “I had to prune it, flowers only grow on new growth.”
And now I am floored. Like, he clearly should have picked my mouth off the floor. “Okay God, I got it! Thank you for having my husband speak this to me.” I did get it in a deeper way.
This verse hit me. My mind is circling what I read in the Bible. I am clearly better when I see the visual of it,I get it. When something gets pruned, it encourages new growth. Which is beautiful. It doesn’t always look beautiful and sometimes it looks like it is sick or not going to make it. You should see the plant, however, I see it in a new light. I see it as each of us. We each have things that God will take away or that He will let end. That is when we feel lost, like we don’t know ourselves anymore. Our identity is gone because what we placed ourselves in is over.
Your identity is in God. I know as mother, I felt like my identity was in my children or my husband. As my children are growing older, I am realizing that is not the case. So many people were telling me that. They were preparing me for when it finally clicked. My children are 6, 4, and 1. I am now just learning, yes I am a mother, but I am also what God says I am. Just because the kids don’t need me as much, I can grow in God even more now. He is pruning me in this area. There will be new growth as my children get older. There will be new growth in my marriage as my children get older and go off to school. There will be new growth in my relationships with friends. There will be new growth in my relationship with God.
Daughters, let God prune you. Let him cut away the things that are only hurting you, the things that cause darkness, and the things that brought you joy for a moment. As He cuts those things away, light shines on what hasn’t seen light before. Which brings forth new growth. Sit in the light (grace) of God. Let the Word nourish you and help you grow more and bear more fruit.