Maybe I can share something...

Monday, April 03, 2006

No Pruning, No Fruit

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

Do you really believe God works for good in all things?

Being able to make that statement begins with acknowledging that God knows what He is doing. He is not only all-powerful, or sovereign, but also all-knowing. Even when pain and tragedy strike, we can trust God to know what is best for our good.

The problem is we don't know His plan. We would like to know the reason for our trials, but God doesn't always reveal it to us. We wonder how He could possibly cause this or that problem to work for good.

But through Scripture and the natural order, God gives us a hint that it can happen, even when we can't see how. Jesus said:

I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1,2).

During the last several years, our own family has endured several such prunings. Barbara has weathered major heart surgery, the removal of a benign lump in her breast, five debilitating sinus infections, sinus surgery and Lyme's disease. And I have previously told of our son Samuel's bout with muscular dystrophy.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I grow a little weary from so many snips from pruning shears in my life.

But I really love the fruit bearing. While I wish it could happen without the pruning, life just doesn't work that way. Our family has experienced growth from the pruning. It has enriched my ministry to other families who hurt.

Scientists don't fully understand the pruning/fruit-bearing connection in the plant world. Why should I insist on understanding it in human lives? It's more important to bear fruit than to understand the pruning process.

How has God pruned you in the past in order to make you bear more fruit?

Excerpted from "Moments Together for Couples" by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.Used with permission. Copyright 1995 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Allrights reserved. To purchase the book, visit ->


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