Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15: 2)
A child of God was once overwhelmed by the number of afflictions that seemed to target her. As she walked past a vineyard during the rich glow of autumn, she noticed its untrimmed appearance and the abundance of leaves still on the vines. The ground had been overtaken by a tangle of weeds and grass, and the entire place appeared totally unkempt. While she pondered the sight, the heavenly Gardener whispered such a precious message to her that she could not help but share it.
The message was this: “My dear child, are you questioning the number of trials in your life? Remember the vineyard and learn from it. The gardener stops pruning and trimming the vine or weeding the soil only when he expects nothing more from the vine during that season. He leaves it alone, because its fruitfulness is gone and further effort now would yield no profit. In the same way, freedom from suffering leads to uselessness. Do you now want me to stop pruning your life? Shall I leave you alone?”
Then her comforted heart cried, “No!” Homera Homer-Dixon
It is the branch that bears the fruit,
That feels the knife,
To prune it for a larger growth,
A fuller life.
Though every budding twig be trimmed,
And every grace
Of swaying tendril, springing leaf,
May lose its place.
O you whose life of joy seems left,
With beauty shorn;
Whose aspirations lie in dust,
All bruised and torn,
Rejoice, though each desire, each dream,
Each hope of thine
Will fall and fade; it is the hand
Of Love Divine
That holds the knife, that cuts and breaks
With tenderest touch,
That you, whose life has borne some fruit,
Might now bear much.
~Annie Johnson Flint
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 81-82). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.