Pruning. In my opinion there is very little about this word that is pleasant. Nearly every connotation that the word creates in my head is negative. The actual definition of the word, “to lop off or cut off,” is scary. At dictionary.com you can look up related words like the pruning hook, pruning shears, pruning saw and the pruning knife. No thank you—I think.
Pruning is a mysterious process. You would think that if you cut back a shrub or tree that it would suffer from the process. Not so! About a month ago, I purposefully lopped off some branches on a potted basil plant I keep on the back patio. The new growth that the pruning created was nothing short of incredible. That little plant was transformed.
On a more personal note, some of the greatest pruning seasons of my life have produced some of the greatest growth periods of my life. To experience a lopping off or some measure of cutting back is never pleasant. But when those seasons are submitted to the Creator, this mysterious process often produces growth. And to the open and submissive recipient, the pruning can be truly transformational on many levels.
Here are some truths I’ve leaned in the midst of being cut back, cut off or pruned.
1. There are some truths that can only be learned in seasons of lack. You cannot learn them at any other time. They are not available to you in any other season.
2. These rare and precious truths are scattered and just under the surface of the dry and barren soils of lack. If you are paying attention, you will discover them and they will serve you well for the rest of your life.
3. These truths are like pure gold that pay exponential dividends. They guide us in the lean times and bless us in times of plenty.
4. Whining and complaining about your lack or having been pruned blinds you to the presence of these truths. You’ll never see them and you’ll miss the transformational riches that would have provided you with new growth.
There is much that we can learn about ourselves, others and our God in the pruning season. The truth is the pruning process is a necessary process in order for us to blossom and flourish in our relationship with Him and with others.