A season of pruning is the process of removing unnecessary or unwanted parts that inhibits the growth of a thing. At some point in time, all living things must and will undergo a season of pruning.
I was never really into gardening. I didn’t like getting out in the heat or digging in the dirt, and I certainly knew nothing about planting. Recently, I took more of an interest in beautifying my yard and planting quickly became a hobby.
To educate myself, I got on YouTube to lean more about the wonderful world of gardening. There was a plethora of information out there, including all the beautiful plants I could play with. A pretty chartreuse-colored plant called sunshine ligustrum was the first one I chose. Using my YouTube knowledge, I put three of these plants in the ground and they looked fantastic. However, after a few days of putting them in the ground, they started to wilt.
Thinking they were just dry, I watered them, but they wilted even more and healthy leaves began to fall off. They were dying and I didn’t know why. The only choice I had was to pull them up and take them back to the nursery. I didn’t want to do that because that would just be getting rid of the problem instead of solving it.
Before digging up my dying plants, I decided to go back to my favorite planting YouTuber to see what he recommended for a situation like this. This man had a video for everything plant related. At the time, he’d just posted a video on a summer time trick for curing wilting plants. His recommendation, prune it!
I thought, cut it! I wanted them to grow, not scale them back. His recommendation didn’t make any sense, but his explanation for it made all the sense in the world. He explained that sometimes when you scratch the roots before putting a plant in the ground, it damages the root system throwing off the plant’s balance. This causes it to become drought-stressed due to its inability to get water throughout its entire system. Having nothing to lose, I tried it, and within a few weeks, my ligustrums popped back up, gradually filling in with bright yellow new growth.
From that experience I learned that cutting back isn’t a loss at all, but a necessary gain for future growth. Sometimes a season of pruning is the only way for growth to take place. You see, just like I had to prune those plants so they could reach their max potential and thrive, God treats us in the same manner. If you find yourself in a season of pruning and don’t understand why, know that God has a plan for why He cuts away. In this post, I want to share with you 3 reasons why God takes us through a season of pruning.
Pruning is a strengthening mechanism purposed in setting us upon a balanced, spiritual foundation. We cannot grow and reach our fullest potential in a weak, unhealthy state. We must be spruced and shaped then put under the light of the Son and the storms of life to blossom into who and what God has called us to be.
2. To rid us of dead weight.
You can’t grow and move into your destiny holding onto those nonessential pieces of your being. They are counterproductive to your spiritual development. I like to think of it as God taking out the trash, things and people whose part in your life is complete. Sometimes God will strip away things He never intended for us to hold onto so He can replace them with what was always in His will for us to have.
Don’t be afraid to lose things because it is what you have left that is designed to grow. Elimination precedes elevation. It may feel like God is destroying or even punishing us when things are cut away. Still, in order to move up, we must often go down so we can be reconstructed from the ground up. Even if He tears down, God always rebuilds better than before.
“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 15:2, NLT
3. To begin a new chapter in your life.
When old things pass away, new life can take shape. The pruning makes way for all things new, new ways of thinking, seeing differently, and moving out of your comfort zone towards the promises of God. If God removes it from your life, it’s because He wants to improve your life.
“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.“
Ecclesiastes 7:8, ESV
Being scaled back is no fun while you’re in it. No discipline ever is. The process is beneficial though because once the useless is gone, the useful can take shape. Pruning promotes productivity and we must trust that God knows exactly what to cut away so He can enhance, enlighten, and empower us for greatness.