Daily Devotional - 13 August 2020
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2).
Today was the day. I had been looking at our hibiscus plant in the lobby for the past couple of weeks knowing that I was going to have to deal with it. What was the problem? This plant had been absolutely full of blooms in late winter and had even produced a second bunch in early summer. Despite our isolation, it continued to bloom right on schedule. So what was the problem? It was in need of being pruned.
It loves the diffused light provided for it by the front entrance and it grows well. After the blooms were gone, it continued to produced new growth–extending branches with leaves. It was actually getting a little ungainly. Plants, like people, if left unattended will continue to grow, but may not end up producing as they should. We keep hibiscus plants, not for the leaves they grow, but for the beautiful blooms they produce. And while our plant in the lobby had done exactly what was expected this past season, it needed tended to ensure that it would continue to bloom in the upcoming calendar year. So, today was the day.
I brought out my pruning scissors and went to work. Our lovely plant had actually become a little bit wild. It had continued to grow non-stop and was overtaking more space than was helpful. If left untended, much of its energy next blooming season would have continued to go into the production of branches and leaves, not blooms. So, I snipped, cut and pulled off extraneous leaves and branches and the result is a much reduced plant. But I know, that because of my work today, next winter or spring, it will once again provide us with an abundance of blooms to admire and beautify our lobby.
If our hibiscus could talk, it might not have been so appreciative. Cutting hurts and if all we had to consider was today, it does not make sense to remove perfectly healthy branches. It would probably cry out, “why”, “save me”, “that hurts”, and “what are you doing?” How could I possibly know what a plant would say? I am using our human responses to God’s pruning in our lives to extrapolate from our own feelings. As God’s children Jesus has warned us that if we aren’t ‘producing fruit’ God will remove us; if we are ‘producing’ then He has encouraged us that He will prune us to make us even more productive. We often resist ‘pruning’–what’s wrong with the way things are? Aren’t we serving God? Aren’t we being His Ambassadors? To which God lovingly replies, that His pruning ensures that we will continue to do so and through His work in our lives He can make us even better. Trust Him!
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!