“Hey, what happened to my plant?!” These are the words that flew out of my mouth as I walked into the Livingroom to see my once beautiful plant looking naked and baron. Years before a dear friend had given me that cyclamen plant for my birthday. I cherished that plant. It was beautiful and always in bloom. I was proud of caretaking with this plant as it seemed to be healthy and flourishing.
That day, my then 5 yr old daughter, was having a playdate with another little girl. Underneath that sofa table where the plant enjoyed lots of sunshine there was a wedding going on. Each Barbie held a beautiful pink bouquet of flowers in her plastic hand. It was a marvelous sight to see. Even Ken had a pink boutonniere in his beachwear. (Ken didn’t come with a tux) Those sweet little resourceful wedding planners had plucked every single last pink bloom off my plant leaving behind no hint of color on the plant. All that was left was the green foliage. I was devastated. I gave that plant special care because I enjoyed the beauty it gave. It was a delight to me.
A few days later I was sitting on the sofa while the kids were napping enjoying some alone time with God. I was studying in John 15. Those all familiar verses about abiding in the vine. Only this day some things about these verses popped out at me. As I looked over at my barren plant I started having this conversation with the Lord.-
“I’m still upset about my plant; it was a good and healthy plant.”
He cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit he prunes, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2)
Wait a minute, now He had my full attention. He prunes the branches that are already bearing good fruit, not just the dead ones? I continued reading through John 15 about how we need to remain in Him and ask whatever you wish.
“That pretty plant really brought me joy.”
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11)
“But I didn’t choose for this pruning to happen.”
You didn’t choose me, I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit-fruit that will last-and so whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (John 15:16)
He chose me. He chose me to bear fruit, fruit that will last. That’s responsibility. That’s love. That’s validation; he trusts me and produces fruit. Wow, God’s word really came alive that day as he gave me a beautiful example of what pruning looks like.
Several months went by and I had nearly forgotten about the Barbie wedding with the pretty pink flowers. That day I looked over at the cyclamen plant and I could hardly believe my eyes. The plant was bursting with tiny pink blossoms. Tons of them. It probably had tripled the amount of flowers that it originally had before the involuntary pruning. Indeed, the pruning had caused the plant to bear much fruit.
Are you willing to allow the master gardener take his pruning shears to the places in your life that need pruning? Remember, he’s not only cutting off dead branches and foliage, he’s removing beautiful blooms. Why? To produce even more fruit, for His glory. That’s so mind-blowing. Removing what’s already good and working to produce something that’s even more great, even more beautiful and abundant. Are you willing to let the pruning happen?
Cheryl Nielsen is a single mother of 7 young adult and teenage children. She retired from a broadcasting career to raise that small army of kids which included 17 years of homeschooling. Originally from Minnesota, missions brought her family to Kansas City in 2007. She currently resides in Lee’s Summit, MO.