Meditation # 4 on John 15:2
“He (my Father, the Vinedresser), 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.”
Did Jesus just say that even the branches that are “doing a good job” & bearing fruit will get pruned?!
So either way I’m getting cut?
How does that offer me any encouragement? Any comfort?
I can concede to the first part and see the reason a dead branch or one that is producing NO fruit would get cut off. But if there’s fruit, why cut? Right?
But there is a difference. The non-producing branch is cut off. The one with some fruit is only pruned. The Greek word for this is also the word for “cleans”. He looks at my life and sees that sometimes fruit can be diseased or dwarfed or unhealthy or meager.
Careful pruning is the most loving thing a good Vinedresser can do.
Cutting off life-suckers, trimming back unruly directions of growth, cleaning areas of the disease of self-glory, and pruning underdeveloped fruit that He knows has the potential to become a bumper-crop.
When I recognize my position
- that I am a branch
And I realize my purpose
- is to bear fruit
Then I can rejoice in the pruning
- knowing I will produce more and better fruit.
IF I truly believe that is why I am here, then won’t I welcome this cutting? Even see pruning as a loving gift? Something I cannot do for myself but desperately need?
It requires two things from me.
I know my Father - The Vinedresser - is good so I can absolutely trust Him.
I believe His purposes are perfect and loving, so I won’t run from His gaze or despise His care.