A Pruning

A Pruning

“I am the vine, you are the branches;
he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit.” John 15:5

We have the privilege today to hear from a guest contributor.  Rich Harmon, who is an elder at PBCC, has some encouraging thoughts for us today.  Thanks Rich!

I have enjoyed the slower pace of life during these weeks of staying at home.  I have especially enjoyed my early mornings on the back patio with God and a cup of coffee, watching the sunrise and the birds wake up with the day. In fact this has become my most cherished time of the day. One morning, as I was staring at the trees in my yard, these words from the Gospel of John came to mind:

“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

As I reflected on this passage, it struck me that this ‘shelter-in-place’ may be God’s way of pruning some things in my life – the branches that do not bear fruit.  And I wondered what fruit-bearing ones is He nurturing to grow and bring Him glory? Is He is doing this in your life too during this season?

While there are many difficult and tragic things that have come about from this pandemic, God has given us a unique opportunity for reflection and evaluation, a chance to step back and take stock of our lives and the things we fill it up with.  Now is a wonderful time to ask God to help us clearly see our “branches” as He does and to understand which ones bear Him fruit and which ones just sap our strength and use up our resources. 

As we begin to ponder the Bay Area opening back up and life returning to “normal,” what are you going to do with the branches that God has pruned in this season?  Are you going to pluck them off the pile and try to “graft them back on” to your life and return to the way things were?  I encourage you today not to blindly re-enter your ‘old’ way of life but to be prayerfully intentional about which branches He wants you to focus your attention going forward.

I know that there will be a time in the coming weeks that the temptation to forego my cherished God-mornings will be strong, the urge to rush out the door and grab a Starbucks on the road will just seem easier.  My prayer today, for me and you, is that we remain for a few moments in the quiet dawn and let God set the way forward by doing a little pruning in our lives.