I don’t even want to write about this right now, but I have to. I just have to get the words out.
There’s been a whole lot of pruning happening in my heart. Like the kind you don’t even like to talk about. Like the kind of cutting away that hurts.
Like the kind where you think, “Oh yeah, everything is great.” Then boom. Nope. I’m face to face with my “issues.” Like the sin nature issues. Like the things you want to say are totally behind you. Like the small issues that Jesus reminds us are really the big heart issues. Man. There they are again.
So yeah. I’ve been reminded that I look pretty yucky. When push comes to shove…I’m shoved into a dirty, mucky, road-sludge pile of yuck. This is me without Christ. Total mess.
John 15 gives a hopeful picture. A vine. That is where I am digging in today.
Rooted in Christ…abiding in him daily…minute by minute means I find life in him. However, we also see in that passage the branches that are not rooted. The ones maybe that think they are all that and don’t need the vine. Yikes. Those are cut away. Burned in the fire.
Today, I think a few branches have been cut off. Lovingly cut off that is. The Gardener saw fit to show me a few dead places. He’s gently cut away where he sees fit. He’s making room for new growth I hope! I’m feeling the pain, but I’m clinging to the grace of the Gardner because in the process he promises that his joy may be in me, and that my joy may be full. Full of joy!
After the pruning that joy sounds so good!
I am a child of God and though my sin nature has been revealed to me (once again…) I choose to also remember that “though my sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” (Isaiah 1:18). I am forgiven. I am redeemed.
Where are you today? I feel far from perfect. In fact, I feel perfectly inadequate. Maybe you can relate?
But in the these places of inadequacy and failure we learn to submit our lives to the Gardner (our Heavenly Father). And as we daily abide (live in, remain in…) the vine (Jesus Christ), we may feel the pain of pruning, but I pray that as we understand that we can do nothing apart from him, we will begin to see fruit, abundantly and for his glory!
Singing this today…
O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.
In my weakness…Singing His Grace,