We live here in rural Alabama on a small farm in the country. We are definitely country folk. We love all the Father’s critters and birds that we get to see and hear. On the farm is a pond with fish, and we have some chickens for fresh eggs (we love them chickens). There is a garden with all kinds of vegetables, and we also have many different kinds of fruit trees and a small grape vineyard. My hubby is also a beekeeper, so we have several hives for honey.
Among some of our favorite fruit trees and bushes are our blueberries. We have 7 or 8 bushes, and there are several different varieties. Some of them are really sweet when ripe, and some are tart. Right in the middle of all these bushes is this one bush that is the best producer of fruit. It has the sweetest blueberries.
So far, we have picked about 13 quarts just from this one bush. This year the bush has gotten so tall, and it’s way over our heads. We’ve had to bend it way over to be able to reach and pick the berries. Tom (my hubby) said, “I’m going to have to prune it back after the season is over to keep it shorter so that it will grow fuller and produce more.” He showed me the new growth of branches coming out at the bottom and in the middle. I noticed when picking the blueberries that some of them were huge and so sweet when I ate one. I realized that the larger berries were from the new branches. The older branches had much smaller ones. It was a noticeable difference in the size of the berries.
I was pondering this when the Father showed me that is what He is doing to me. He’s pruning me. He’s cutting out my old self, my sinful carnal nature. He’s teaching me which branches of my life to remove so that I will continue to grow new branches and bear fruit. He’s teaching me His ways and not my own.
In Matthew 21, Yeshua is passing by a fig tree with only leaves and no fruit. He spoke to it and said, “May no fruit ever come from you again.” Immediately it withered.
I don’t want to have only leaves and no fruit. I don’t want to be a puny bush barely alive. I don’t want Abba to curse me so that I wither or to take an ax to me. I want to be a healthy bush with strong branches and beautiful leaves and to bear fruit. I want to be a big old ripe, juicy blueberry! Some of my fruit may be tart at first, but I believe with His nurturing, fertilizing, and pruning, my fruit will be so sweet to His eyes because I’m in His garden. I imagine He might have to sharpen His pruning shears quite often to prune me in shape.
So keep on pruning me, Abba, even if you have to clip my branches back to be just a stick so that I can sprout new branches and leaves and bear fruit! Who knows, maybe I’ll bear enough fruit to make a whole pie!
Have you been pruned?