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Very early in my African farming days, I was given a pair of pruning shears and instructed on how to prune the “suckers” off of the tomato plants we were growing. Suckers, as we call them, look like the other fruit producing vines but they never produce any fruit. They only take nutrients from the plant that could otherwise go to fruit producing vines, which decreases the overall production of the plant. I realized quickly that the plants that were the healthiest and bearing the most fruit were the ones that had been pruned properly along the way.

Christ used this example of pruning in John 15 when He said, “Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He (God) removes, and He (God) prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.” (v.2) Put simply….What matters is the fruit production!

Our times of pruning on the farm brought clarity to these words from Christ. Pruning processes on the farm, like in life, are difficult and often exhausting. However, they are extremely important if we are to reach full maturity and maximum production. If you find yourself being pruned, look expectantly to the seasons of fruit production that you will come to in the days ahead. If you are a branch that hasn’t or doesn’t intend to produce any fruit…look out!