“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.”
John 15:1-2, NIV
My grandparents (on both sides) always grew real vegetable gardens – big ones, not those postage-stamp size backyard plots people call a garden today. Early on summer mornings, we would pick vegetables with my father’s mother. We’d put old bread bags over our Keds to keep them dry in the dew. Anyone else ever do that? My mother’s parents had a huge garden and usually harvested so much that even after canning and storing enough for themselves, they had excess to sell at a farmer’s market.
All that food didn’t come without an enormous amount of work. Plants will grow on their own in the right conditions, but without care, they will be overcome by weeds, pests, and possibly lack of water. Plants must be tended if they are to bear the most fruit (or vegetables) possible.
When a plant is overgrown, it expends a large amount of energy trying to keep those long, fruitless limbs alive. When those limbs are removed, the plant can then divert that energy into the remaining branches, allowing those to become stronger and bear even more fruit.
In John 15, Jesus told us that He is the vine, and God is the gardener who cuts off any branches that are not fruitful—and prunes the ones that are—so they will become even more fruitful. If we are the branches, as John 15:2 says, then this pruning also applies to us.
If there are things in your life needlessly sapping your energy, ask God to show you the excess foliage that is draining you and allow the Master Gardener to cut it away so that you may begin to produce fruit in abundance. “For this is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)
Remaining in Him,