John 15:1-2 – I am the real fruit tree. My Father is the One who takes care of the tree. He takes away from me every branch that does not bear fruit. And he cleans every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. (Worldwide English New Testament)
The last peach had been picked and the year's harvest was finished. The beautiful green trees that had covered the flat lands were beginning to show the colours of fall in their leaves. The pruner had come with the pruning shears to do his job. Almost maliciously, it seemed, he sawed and cut, until the trees were ugly, naked, and in many instances, no longer resembled trees at all. Sadly, I remembered the beauty of trees in bloom, trees full of fruit; now, to my untrained eye, they had been destroyed.
I did not travel that particular road again until sometime the next spring. Incredibly, the ugly, naked roots I remembered from the previous fall had produced new growth and were now filled with gorgeous pink blossoms, with promise of a good peach crop that year. The pruner had been much wiser than I. He knew how such extreme discipline was necessary if the trees were to produce another harvest.
Sometimes in our lives, we need to be pruned back, just as the peach trees were pruned. Not only does God prune back those parts of us that do not bear fruit, He cleans those branches that bear, so they will produce better fruit in the future.
Prayer: Lord, sometimes, like the fruit trees, we need pruning. Some growth is useless or even harmful. Sometimes we just need pruning so that next year's crop will be better. Prune us back so we may produce a new harvest for You. Amen.