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bearing fruit

We have this apricot tree in the front yard. When we first moved in last February we had no idea if it would produce fruit. It did. So much that I didn't know what to do with all he splattered fruit along the sidewalk. The fruit that did remain on the tree was eaten by the birds,  almost every apricot they dug their little beaks into, all except the sixteen pieces I collected to make one delicious apricot pie.
I was sad that we weren't able to enjoy more of the fruit (darn birds) but was excited for this years produce and even had Micah put one of those fake owls next to the tree to show those birds what was up.
So yeah, the birds weren't a problem because that owl showed them who was boss, but we literally got twenty measly apricots this year. twenty.
Elsie ate about ten of them one day and I didn't think anything of the bareness of the tree until I went out there and realized that those twenty we had already consumed was the entire crop for the season. All of it.
What the what is up with that? I went online to check it out and realized because we didn't cut back (prune) the branches all of the growth went into the useless fruitless branches and leaves instead of producing more fruit.
Because we didn't do a simple thing like pruning we didn't gain. I even remember thinking we needed to prune the tree but I liked the way the leaves were coming in and didn't want to make the tree look fugly. Plus neither of us had time to prune the tree, or was it, we didn't make time?
Last night I met with my old bible study group and our leader read to us from John 15. You know the chapter about us being the vines and God being the one true Gardner. She focused primarily on verse two and four. After reading this passage she asked us "Are you abiding or Are you being pruned right now in your life, or both?"

For me it was both. I see in my life where I'm abiding, seeking God's will and following where he leads but I also see lots of pruning being done. Plus there are areas that still need to be pruned.

Like that apricot tree, I see how it's easier to just ignore those areas because I don't want to make the time for it or even worse if I cut off those branches (or remove those fruitless things from my life) I think "will I look as good from the outside"
You know what I mean? Like cutting out those toxic friendships, toxic thoughts, TV shows, certain activities, social media, how I spend my time on the web. Some things are easier to cut out so we can snip them no prob, but the things that are harder to prune are the areas where we not only struggle with but also care about what others might say if we do cut it off.
all images found via pinterest
I kick myself for not pruning the tree or taking the appropriate measures to insure that it will bear fruit because all I can think of is the yummy delightful treats I won't be able to make because of my lack of discipline. Just a little needed to be done to make much more use out of that tree. I wonder if God is thinking the same thing like, "child you could have been doing so more for me and producing some wonderful results if you would just let me remove those things you don't need from your life."

vs 2. "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"

vs.8 "This is to my father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

I want to be more fruitful and even more so God commands that of us. To be in constant growth, removing the things that separate us from Him so we can grow closer to Him bearing much fruit and ultimately giving Him the Glory.

So how about you? Are you abiding or being pruned... or both?


Courtney @ So Courtney Said said...

I think all too offen I let myself believe that I am fully abiding in Him, without taking the time to really prune my life as it needs to be pruned. Of course, I need to prune areas of my life in order to truly abide, in order to live fully in His will. Oh I will surely be praying & mulling this over for the rest of the day, seeking which branches need to be removed! Thank you for sharing your heart & your story!

the hollie rogue said...

oh yes, such encouraging, challenging words. such a pictures of how our own lives must be pruned of the good to become our very best--FOR HIM. thanks for sharing!

giddy99 said...

This is a most excellent and much-needed post (for me). Thank you for that, and God Bless. :)

vintage grey said...

Beautiful and truthful post! I am both right now, and with many areas that need to be pruned. Thanks for sharing, and a good reminder of how we need to live everyday to bring Him all the Glory! xo Heather