“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
On Sunday Brad was asked to preach at the first and second service of a local church. Between the services we were invited to sit in on a Sunday School class. Our teacher led a class discussion of John 15. I was especially struck by John 15:2. “Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
The last 8 months have not been easy. We’ve been on reduced salary 3 times. I had an undiagnosed infection for 4 months. We had a baby. We went to Maryland for 2 weeks. Brad had training in Florida for one week, and a mission trip to Mexico for one week. We hosted family from Maryland for 5 1/2 weeks. We live 2700 miles from our families for most of the year. I underwent surgery 3 weeks ago.
But if I look at this passage, Jesus pretty much guarantees that if I’m producing fruit, then I will be pruned so that I can produce more fruit. Instead of feeling sorry for myself when hard times come, I can recognize that I am being pruned for future fruitfulness. I can be grateful and hopeful knowing that God can use my struggles for His glory.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22