I have these mammoth Hibiscus in my garden. I love them because they display huge, beautiful blooms on a daily basis.
But one thing I’ve discovered is that they require constant pruning. See, the blooms last for a day, then begin to shrivel up.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am not much of a gardener, but as I’ve cared for these Hibiscus plants, I’ve learned the benefit of pruning. When I prune the dead blooms off the plant, more blooms replace them. When I don’t prune the dead blooms, the plant doesn’t produce as many new flowers. To keep the plant healthy and flourishing, it requires constant care and frequent trimming.
God does the same with us. John 15 tells us that Jesus is the vine, God is the gardener, and we are the branches. God trims off the branches that don’t produce fruit and prunes the fruit-bearing branches so they will bear even more fruit.
Or, to put it another way, God prunes us so that we will be healthier and more spiritually beautiful.
Pruning is often a painful process. Just as I use sharp shears to cut off the dead blooms, so God sometimes has to use sharp methods to prune us. It’s often unpleasant at the time, but if we embrace His loving care of us, we’ll reap the rewards later on.
So if you feel God’s pruning in your life right now, fight the urge to run from it and press in instead. It’s for your benefit and His glory.