Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.
For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
Good gardeners know pruning helps new growth-- and not just random growth, but proper growth, for a healthy and bountiful harvest.
Our Father knows Christians need pruning, too-- for godly growth by the Master's Own Hand, so we can live our most productive lives.
What king of pruning might God do to us?
* He might remove toxic relationships, and the anguish may feel unbearable... but in time, better relationships form.
* He might remove our comfy surroundings and put us in unknown situations... but in time, we appreciate the change.
* He might remove our jobs, health or loved ones. We face losses we never imagined... but in time, our faith reaches brave new heights.
Bottom line: If we're growing from the Vine, we must expect and value the tough cuts. They mean God is preparing us for more, for better, for higher, for Him...
And that holiest of transformations is worth boundlessly more than passing pains.
## Bearing Through Pruning (Part 13)
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Bearing series.