Monday, December 13, 2010

The joy of being pruned

I was looking back on the closing year of 2010.  How quickly the past twelve months have past.  I generally try to look at the positive side of life, and think about lessons I've learned. The 'ups and downs' of life are to be expected and a normal part of life. I've found the 'down times' are when the growth occurs for me most profoundly.  Though at the time, it doesn't particularly seem like it because what's so 'in my face' is the problem and/or pain I'm feeling.  But Paul in the Bible says to 'count it all joy.'  Count it all joy being in pain and distress?  That sounds like a contradiction, but it's the way God has to deal with contrary and stubborn men, women and children. In the Old Testament, God's people, the Hebrews are a perfect example. Even after God provided the way to get them delivered from slavery and get out of Egypt, they actually wanted to go back. And that contrary behavior is still being practiced today. God blesses us so much, but we (people in general) still want to make our own choices and have our own way with a spirit of entitlement -that we deserve a ride on easy street  our whole life, so to speak, and don't even think or want to obey God's Word. Then when things go badly, our cries to God are how could He allow such a terrible thing happen?  Maybe it's our own doing and if we'd been obedient to God's Word the first place, things would be different.  But, just as the Hebrews cried to God after they found themselves in trouble from doing that which God warned them not do, they repented of their sin and their disobedience, and God was faithful and loving and removed them from their trouble. There is no mountain of situation beyond God's power to turn around for His people when God's people then and now return to obeying and worshiping Him. God is still the same. His Word endures and never changes. We would be so much better to learn from history.

Prune away till all that's left is what is good for service
Photo credit: mccoy from morguefile.com


After my crisises have past, I can look back and clearly see God was right with me, carrying me the entire time, working and pruning me. God gives me insight, wisdom and develops me and allows me to grow and mature from those 'down times' of life. Pruning me makes me able to produce spiritual fruit and be effective for service to the people God brings into my life. I can be of service to them from the lessons I'd personally learned from my pruning.
If I hadn't been lead through the 'down times' in life,  I couldn't offer wisdom from first hand knowledge nor help anyone.

So God, prune me until I am become more and more in the image you need me to be for service for you. When I'm being pruned, I'm being molded, sharpened and shaped more in the likeness of Jesus. And that I can count all joy that I'm being made perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  And, that's for you as well.



Scripture references: Philippians 2:13; Nehemiah 9: 6-31; James 1:2


Question- What is God pruning in your life for you to accomplish?
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Until next time, I'm keeping my face in the glow of the Lord.


BONUS: Who likes to experience pain or have irritation in their life?  But, just like a bead nucleus causes irritation inside an oyster, which causes it to develop a sack around it, a beautiful pearl results.  So, maybe that irritation and pruning is God's way to develop something worthwhile inside you. Think about it.

Pearls are made from an irritation inside oysters

Photo credit: kconnors from morguefile.com

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Katrina . . . . . for reminding me that most of my "trying times" are actually my "pruning from God." With each day of becoming a stronger Christian, I too have found that when I look back on a past difficult situation that at the time I didn't understand why, but later found God's reasoning. I am learning to not ask "why" more and more with each new day. We must trust Him with every situation in our lives!

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  2. Good thoughts for daily growth

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