BLOOM – Proper Pruning Produces
by Liz Giertz, Contributing Writer
We all know it’s wise, and Biblical, to prune the branches that don’t bear fruit. And if we don’t do it ourselves, God will certainly take care of it for us.
When my husband was home in the spring, he took the trimmers to a couple of butterfly bushes we have in the front of our house. They were getting gangly and the brown, brittle remnants of last years blooms made them look more like a nuisance than a showpiece. Cutting off the dead wood was easy, but whacking the bush down to the ground like the care instructions suggested was a real challenge.
I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s hard to chop off branches that look healthy. The ones that look like they have potential to bloom someday.
Pruning increases the supply of nutrients for the rest of the plant, creates space for improved air flow that helps prevent disease, and provides opportunities for new growth. Cutting back branches that look like they are in good condition can make the whole plant healthier.
During certain seasons of my life, I’ve had to prune in different ways. Cutting out extra TV was fairly easy. Skipping out on the some of my favorite social functions was a little harder. Then, there were even other good and God-pleasing activities I had to cut back, too. Pruning allows the plant to send all the resources to those branches that will bloom most abundantly and bear the most fruit.
In order to know what to cut out, our priorities must be aligned with God’s will. No, we won’t get it right all the time – Heaven knows I haven’t – but when God calls us into new areas of service we have to make sure we don’t skimp on the responsibilities He has already ordained for us. He won’t have us bloom in a way that requires us to sacrifice our time with Him or our family. If that becomes a problem, we should step back and reconsider how we are spending our time, talents, and treasure.
God provides when our priorities align with His purpose.God provides when our priorities align with His purpose @LizGiertz http://bit.ly/PruneAndBloom via @RealWomenMin Click To Tweet
Every thing else, even other areas of blooming, no matter how appealing they may look, must come after those first priorities – God, spouse, family. We prune from the bottom up, not the top down. So, if He calls us into service for His people, our spouse and children won’t suffer unnecessarily. But don’t ask my kids, they might tell you my work is torturing them!
Every once in a while, He even prunes branches that are actively blooming. I know that hurts, but the truth is that’s His prerogative. Sometimes, they are gone for good and other times those branches come back stronger than ever.
Pruning things from our lives ensures we have the energy to accomplish what God has called us to, leaves enough white space for Him to refresh and keep us healthy, and provides opportunities for exciting new growth and future blooming.
But those situations might not always look like we expect them to. See how by joining us for the next lesson.
Blossoms of Fun Question
Share your favorite memory involving flowers.
1)Read John 15:1-2. What happens to unfruitful vines? Why?
2) Now read John 15:4-7. How do we ensure that we will bear fruit? Define that critical word. What does that mean to you personally? How can you do that?
3) What additional step in John 15:10 is critical? What do we gain by doing this (John 15:11)? What is that primary commandment (John 15:12)? What is the greatest form of this and who demonstrated that for us (John 15:13)? What will Jesus call us if we do as He says (John 15:14-15)?
4) Do you feel like your top priorities are withering? What can you practically prune out to bring vitality back to your relationship with God, your spouse, and your children?
5) After your top three priorities, what opportunity in your life do you feel has the greatest potential for bearing abundant fruit. What steps can you take to nurture that branch?
Join us in the comment section below and tell us your answers to the study questions.
Liz Giertz is a Veteran turned Army wife and mom to two boisterous boys and one shelter dog who provide endless writing material. Until the next set of orders arrive, they call FT Hood, Texas home.
Liz is passionate about encouraging women to overcome MESSES, embrace MEMORIES, and become the MASTERPIECES God created them to be.
Liz is not only a contributing writer for Real Women, but she also is gracious with her wisdom and guidance as an advisor team member. In addition, Liz partners with Real Women Ministries through sharing her #WordNerdWednesday posts with our social media community.