John 15:2 – Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. (NASB)
Luke 9:24 – For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. (NKJV)
I received a beautiful hyacinth this year for Valentine's Day. The purple blossoms came quickly, and gave me immense joy, whenever I caught a glimpse of them, or a waft of their perfume. But, as spring blooms do, the flowers, all too soon, faded and drooped. I set the pot down in a cool place, away from the sun, to let the plant die out, ready to be replanted next spring.
But spring re-sprung much earlier than I expected!
Out of the drying leaves of one of the flowers, a tender new stalk and new buds are now emerging! How sweet is the fragrance of my unexpected blossom! As I enjoy these new flowers, I see the work of God the Gardener, who cuts away unfruitful branches, so that others may see the sun, and produce new, sweeter fruits.
God is pruning right now in my life, as He may be in yours as well. Painful as this can feel at times, we can be comforted by the knowledge that we too will bear new fruit, fruit of the Spirit. In such times of pruning, we need to open ourselves to the free movement of the Holy Spirit in all our branches. We need to recognize the new buds He grows in us, and to rejoice in those tender, unexpected, and sweet flowers that He brings to bloom in us. While our blossoms seem unexpected to us, they are all part of His plan for our lives.
Prayer: Lord, help us to open ourselves to the pruning of dead wood that You are doing in our lives today. Help us to let go of these things, which keep us far from You, and do not serve Your purposes. Our hope is in You, Lord, and our strength is in the joy You've promised. Amen.