“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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 15:1-2
Last September we added a new little four-legged member to our family. Her name is Hazel Mae, she is a Mal-Shi (half Maltese and half Shitzu), and she is tiny! After only a few months, she learned the hard way how tough you have to be in order to survive in the Robertson family. One night, our entire family was at Jep and Jessica’s house, so Hazel Mae followed us down to the end of the street. In the midst of the chaos, sweet River accidentally stepped on Hazel Mae’s leg and broke it. This tiny little 3-pound dog had a cast on her leg for nine weeks! During this time, her hair kept getting more and more shaggy, knotted and growing over her eyes to where she just looked like a little rat. I honestly didn’t know if she could see anything at all! We weren’t able to get her groomed until after the cast was off, so it was just getting worse every day.
Finally, after the cast came off and she was able to get her bearings back, I took her to the groomers and had them give her the works: nail trim, bath, skin treatment and fur trim.
As soon as Hazel Mae came home, it was like she was a new dog. She ran around the house and yard like she was a wind-up toy that never wound down. She jumped up on the furniture, played with her toys, chased Mia around the house and acted like she was the happiest dog in the entire universe! She wags that fluffy little tail nonstop now. It’s amazing how just a couple of ounces of puppy hair can completely change her world!
Isn’t that how we are when we get rid of the things in our life that are holding us back? When we finally let God the Father prune our branches in order to get rid of the dead or dying spots, we are immediately able to feel the difference and start to grow and flourish. Notice in the above scripture that it doesn’t say WE are the gardener, but that the Father is the gardener. We aren’t expected to do the work ourselves, but we are expected to open our heart to God in order to let Him do the work.
Is there something holding you back from growing and flourishing? If so, ask God to prune your branches. The process may be uncomfortable and even painful, but a few weeks or months from now, you’ll be able to thank God, the Gardener, for preparing you for all the fruit that is now growing in your life.
And maybe, just like little Hazel Mae, this will change your world.
Have a wonderful week!