Have you ever felt weighed down or overwhelmed by life? Who hasn’t, right? Sometimes it seems like the older we get, the more junk we’ve accumulated and need to purge. Have you ever dead-headed flowers or pruned grape vines or rose bushes? Have you ever noticed when you harvest some types of fruits or veggies regularly, the plant is stimulated to produce more? A couple of days ago I noticed one of my houseplants had a few yellow and brown leaves. It looked so unhealthy. But after removing the dying leaves, when I saw it the next day, it looked so lush and beautiful, and I thought, “Is that the same plant?” When talking about what our Heavenly Father does in the lives of His children to help us grow and become more productive, Jesus touched on the subject of pruning to help a fruit-bearing vine bear even more fruit. One of the secrets to a beautiful flower garden is dead-heading— cutting off withering, dying flowers to encourage new ones to grow. And one of the secrets to having a productive garden is getting rid of suckers— shoots that divert the plants energy.
“To the inexperienced, pruning seems a cruel and senseless waste of parts of the branch that have great potential. Despite appearances, however, pruning increases fruitfulness.” —Grantley D. Morris
The principle of purging and pruning can apply to many areas of our lives as well.
• Cutting our spending can help us save for something we want and would enjoy more.
• Severing unhealthy friendships can help relieve stress, encourage positive growth, and leave more time to nourish healthy relationships.
• Cutting excess calories can help us become healthier and look and feel better.
• Purging data from computers can help the system and processes run better and faster.
• “…prune we must, for… it’s the editing that makes fair writing good and good writing great.” —David Sheets
When God prunes us or when we prune things out of our lives, it can cause temporary discomfort and even pain, but the benefits are worth it.
“If you plant olives but do not prune the tree, your oil will be good for only donkeys.” —Libyan proverb