What is God doing in your life? Kay Marshall Strom, author and Bible teacher, shares the following story.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).
“A peach tree stands in our back yard. Unpruned, the tree grew big and leafy. It was loaded with peaches, although the fruit was disappointingly small and tasteless.
“The year my husband was out of work, he went to work on the tree. When I came home from school one day and saw how far back he had pruned it, I stared in shock. ‘You’ve killed it,’ I cried. ‘Now we won’t have any peaches at all.’
“I was wrong. That spring the pruned branches burst forth with a beautiful blanketing of pink blossoms. Some little green peaches replaced the blossoms. ‘Leave them alone,’ I begged. He ignored me and thinned the fruit.
“By the end of summer the branches were so heavily laden with fruit they had to be propped up. And the peaches—how large, sweet and juicy they were! There was no denying it: the tree was far better off from the painful cutting it endured under the pruning shears.”
What is God pruning in your life? What dead wood is He cutting away? What unhealthy fruit is He thinning? What is He removing that would hold you back and/or limit you?
The Bible often emphasizes that God wants us to bear much fruit (see John 15:1-8). Unfortunately, growth is not automatic nor is it always easy. It requires pruning and cutting and thinning.
COVID-19 has taken away a lot of things. It has dramatically changed most of our lives. But God is using it to prune and shape you. He is using it, and other events and people in your life, to help you become the person He wants you to be. He is shaping you to become more like Jesus (Romans 8:29).
Yes, it is hard to let go of some things we think we need. Kay shares in her story that she did not want to see the pruning take place. It was too radical. It was too thorough. It appeared that it would kill the tree. Instead, the tree produced more fruit than ever before. The pruner knew what he was doing.
Trust the Pruner! It might feel to you now that you won’t survive, but the Pruner knows what He is doing. Your life and your relationship with Him will be more fruitful and productive than ever before due to His expert and patient work in your life.
What is God pruning in your life? Trust Him! Let Him continue His work in you.
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See you soon. Mahalo and Aloha ke Akua!