Updated: Mar 12, 2020
So as we move into the month of March, God reminded me about what it represents and how we can apply that to our lives, so this month we will be focusing on growth and how we can use the promises in the bible to help us grow into the women of God that we are designed to be. Spring is all about the seeds from the past sprouting into the beauty of our present and planting even more seeds for our future. How exciting is it that God has lessons for us about this very thing in his word? This is going to be a month of growing in Christ and learning how his promises are there to help us not only become who we dream to be in our lives but also show us some of the reasons that struggle and pain are necessary for us to bear fruit.
This Week's Scripture Focus: John 15:1-4
"I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener. 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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."
As a child, I used to hear this scripture and it sounded like a bunch of repetitive words about remaining and vines and fruit and didn't really make any sense to me at all. I can remember having to memorize it in bible drill and always getting it mixed up because it was so confusing. Had I understood what it meant, at the time, it surely would have been easier to memorize because now I understand what it truly means to be pruned. I mean let's be real, what adult hasn't had to deal with the pruning of God? It's painful and it sometimes seems as though it's cruel, but in order for us to live the full and fruitful life God designed us to live, we must be molded and cleaned. This is what opens us up for the beauty that follows.
I have talked before about having to battle the justice system over the murder of my aunt. During that time, I didn't understand why God was allowing me to go through all the pain and torment. Yes, I believe at times it felt like torment, but I know now exactly what he was doing to my character. Without those experiences of dealing with loss, having to face the reality of severe disappointment and having to learn to forgive someone that caused more pain to me than anything in my entire life, I would never have been able to become the strong and confident person that I am today. Today, I stand on stages speaking about loss, pain and forgiveness. I stand on stages and speak to people about disappointment and how to overcome it. I speak about perseverance and making things happen even in the face of adversity. All of these things are fruit I now bear because of the pruning God did when I felt like my life was falling to pieces. It wasn't falling to pieces but instead God was putting the pieces of my life in the right places so that I could bear fruit for his kingdom later down the road.
There were also parts of me that died during those years? Those were the branches that God knew needed to be cut off because they would bear no fruit. Things like ego, self-doubt, fear of failure and even certain relationships that didn't serve me well. This was a very public battle and was part of national news, television programs and news articles in the Washington Post and other large publications, so it would have been easy for me to allow the fear of saying the wrong thing or not being correct on some of the laws, as I am not nor ever will be a lawyer, to keep me from fighting for the truth to be told but God loved me so much and was remaining in me so that he could cut out all the things in my life that would not bear the fruit needed to fulfill my purpose. This is what this scripture is all about.
As God's children, we are to remain committed to him and his plan, and if we do that and abide in him when things go well and when things get hard, he will remain in us and prune us in a way that helps us to grow into a person that will bear beautiful, abundant amounts of fruit that will serve the world. What you are going through today is God's way of preparing you for the fruit you will bear for the future and that is a message that even the hopeless can find hope in.
1. What areas in your life are being pruned by God right now?
2. What areas in your life are being cut out by God right now?
3. How can your change your perspective on both of those areas in order to be more aligned with your purpose in Christ and the direction he is leading you?
4. Take time to pray and ask God to show you how to recognize the fruit you are now bearing because of the pruning he has done on you in the past.
5. Ask God to help you recognize the areas he is working on with you now to prepare you for your purpose in the future.
Until next time, keep striving to become the incredible woman of God he designed you to be.