Cutting Away the Excess

Beneath my kitchen window, I have this one crazy plant that is growing out of control.  Its rambling shoots reach out in different directions and catch my sleeve as I walk by.  My hubby scooted by it the other day and it somehow got ahold and tried to pull him in.  I figured it was time to prune that baby back before someone was eaten up.

Just as this plant needs some cutting back so that it can focus its energy on the health of the plant, so I need to cut back rambling shoots of my own.

During this season of Lent,  cutting away the excess creates room for new growth to take place.  It’s a time for pruning.

Pruning

Pruning is when selective parts of a plant are removed.  Reasons for pruning include:

  • deadwood removal
  • shaping (by controlling or directing growth),
  • improving or maintaining health

In John 15:1-2, Jesus says:  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

My life can sometimes look like this out-of-control plant.  Sprouting out in too many directions instead of focusing my energy and abilities on what God has purposed for me.

I’m good at creating a to-do list for the day.  My problem is staying focused and accomplishing those things on the list.  I am easily distracted and then I sprout off on some rambling task.  Sort of like when my hubby came home for lunch and I had the whole counter filled with piles from the junk drawer.  With a puzzling look, he asked, “Weren’t you going to write your blog today?” in which I replied, “Yes, but this drawer was really bugging me.”

Lack of discipline and focus take me off course of the true objective.

So in this season of pruning can I share with you what I’m learning?

  • If I desire growth in a certain area, I must give it focused energy.
  • Focused energy happens when I schedule time for that activity and then stick with the schedule.
  • Trimming back time wasters (i.e.  social media, screen time) creates room for new growth.

When we allow pruning to shape our character, it results in new growth and healthy habits that will produce fruit in our lives.

Today, can I encourage you to let God prune back some things in your life.  Give Him room to cut away and shape you in preparation for new, healthy growth and good fruit.

4 thoughts on “Cutting Away the Excess

  1. This is so profound. I have been feeling the need to simplify and focus better lately, especially during this season of Lent, but I never thought of it as pruning. My husband’s uncle is a master gardener/botanist, and he taught us the importance of pruning a tree, especially when it’s young, to force the growth of the tree upward. And it makes sense that Jesus pruning us does exactly the same thing.

    I loved this thought: “Sprouting out in too many directions instead of focusing my energy and abilities on what God has purposed for me.” That’s exactly what my problem has been of late. Thanks for the reminder to focus my energy on what matters!

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    • Thank you, Amy! Yes, God is driving that point of sprouting out in too many directions to me again and again! I will be more effective in focusing on what He has called me to instead of branching out where He has not intended for me. So glad this was encouraging to you, as well! 🙂

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  2. Thanks, Rachel. I’m glad our Heavenly Father lovingly tends and trims, and doesn’t lop and mow, at least most of the time. 🙂

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