I am like a sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. John 15:1-2 The Passion Translation
This past summer I remember driving past our neighbors house and watching my neighbor place boards up under some of the limbs of his pear tree. He did this to lift up those branches that were down on the ground loaded with fruit unable to withstand the weight of the fruit they had produced. If he had not placed those boards under those limbs they would have broke off and would have been damaged.
This morning I was reminded of my neighbor as I read through John 15:2. In the past when I have read this verse I have always received it as a warning to make sure I am producing the fruits of the spirit, because if not I will be pruned, cut off. This morning I realized this scripture is not meant to strike fear into the believer but to reveal Gods character.
God is the wise and loving farmer, who knows the condition of each and every branch that is connected to Jesus the tree of life. You and me are the branches. Some of us right now are healthy branches bearing fruit in every season and situation. Some of us are bearing some fruit but we have a few areas that are not producing as well as they could be. God prunes off those unhealthy areas in our lives so that we can begin to produce that rich fruit that we were designed to produce. Then there are some of us who are just weighed down by life’s circumstances and the weight of the load that you are trying to carry is about to break you. Maybe you are even at the point where you think it would be better if you just broke away from the tree. But notice what God does for those branches, He lifts those branches up off the ground and takes them to Himself to lighten the load so that even that branch can grow.
God knows each of us and He knows what season of life you are in right now. If you are the branch that you sense God is pruning away some unhealthy areas of your life, know that God is pruning those areas to enhance your life and your relationship with Him. And if you are one of those branches that is on the ground drooping and about to break, don’t break away from the tree. Come to God and give Him the load you are trying to carry. Psalm 55:22 says, “Leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the Lord, and measureless grace will strengthen you.” You were created to experience God and His love in the richest of measure- don’t try to keep carrying that burden on your own. His loving arms will lift you up and sustain you!