No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. -Hebrews 12:11
What do you think of when you hear that word? If you are a gardener, it is a positive word of tough love and care for your flora. Now, as someone who is NOT a gardener (seriously, I have a black thumb), it is a tortuous word you want to ignore. This morning as I opened my devotional that word was the heading and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I wanted to skip it.
I mean who wants to be pruned? NOBODY!
But here is the thing: we all need to be pruned. We all have areas in our life that are choking us and not letting us see the full potential of where God wants us to go. What is funny is I didn’t think I had any major pruning that needed to be done right. A lot of my choking, God pruned as I transitioned from Indiana to Nebraska.
Or so I thought…
Here is the thing about God pruning us. It. Never. Stops. Why you ask? Because we are human and we are sinful. There will always be something that we need to give to God and he needs to, sometimes painfully, remove from our lives. I can think of many moments that God pruned me and I just thought it was life. Think of all your past relationships — romantic and friend — the ones that didn’t last was God pruning you. There are so many people in my life that God removed and I am so thankful now he did because I don’t want to know where I would have ended up if he didn’t.
God also prunes our situations. I am gonna get real for a moment. When I came to Nebraska, I thought I was ready to start fresh in my ministry and chart a new path, but as I was reading my devotional this morning it dawned on me that I was holding onto my past ministry. In the recesses of my mind I wanted to create what I previously had with into what I have now. That is unfair to the ministry, to me, and to God, because for the past six months I was unintentionally putting myself and God into a box. God don’t do boxes.
So what happens now? Well, today starts the painful process of letting go of my expectations and asking God to show me his way outside the cage I trapped myself in. Yes, the past ministry I was in was good, but it is good for that ministry. I need to allow God to show me what he what’s for this ministry and I am excited to see what that is.
So what needs pruning in your life? Where are you allowing yourself to be choked alive? Maybe it is a relationship or a job, but whatever it is give it to God and allow Him to prune. It will be painful, but it will be worth it. I am just starting my pruning so I am here for you and saying a small prayer to all my ones in the midst of painful pruning. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and his arms are wide open and waiting for you. So in the wise words of Dory “Just keep swimming!”
With all my love and prayers,