When I first married my husband, he had a rose bush in the backyard that rarely bloomed. It was overgrown and undernourished. He wanted to dig it up and throw it out. I asked him to wait and see what would happen if we pruned it back. I went to town pruning all the branches. Within a few weeks we had a beautiful floribunda rosebush with new growth and more buds than I could count. Our Father will also prune us, discipline us, and shape us into people He can use to further His kingdom. “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)
This is what Jesus does when He disciplines us. He is trimming off all of the deadweight. He wants us to flourish in every area of our lives. The process of pruning can be painful. We don’t always like it when Jesus begins to trim and prune and shape our lives using trials and daily circumstances. But we do want to become all that Jesus created us to be — to be made over in His image. So let’s let Jesus do His best work in us so that we can do ours for Him. For Jesus said, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)
Our lives are to point others to Christ for the glory of God. Even when we are experiencing the pain of trials that are used to shape us, we are to: “always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:15b-18) Have you rejoiced, prayed and given thanks to the Lord today? I’m posting a video that I was praising the Lord with on my drive to work. I have more pep in my step and thankfulness in my heart. I’ve had people who normally don’t speak in the parking lot and elevator go out of their way to speak to me today. The light of the Lord is flowing through me, and it is attractive. Give it a try!