Winter Training

The Author of creation uses his very handiwork to teach lesson upon lesson. Some ways of the Kingdom, however, seem hard but yield wonderful fruit for those with a heart to know him. One such lesson is the cycle of seasons for fruit trees that includes pruning. Consider the image that shows an apple tree in early winter. It has born fruit its fruit for the season. During that bearing time, radical pruning is not done, so you see little spindly branches popping out from a good sized trunk by the time winter rolls around. apple-tree-in-winterA couple weeks ago in January (winter for the Northern hemisphere), a crew of people came to go through the orchard. They will prune all but a few of those small branches on this tree and all of the rest of them to ensure good fruit for the next season. They do it in winter, when weather is already severe and the tree is bare.

Do you believe you know the Lord Jesus Christ? He says in plain terms that the Father WILL prune us just like a fruit tree. Major pruning is when we are already bare. Sometimes we think all of the last season’s branches produced, but God knows better. Some branches did not produce or produced improperly. Now it’s winter. Our situations have left us bare. Our branches can be easily seen without the leaves and activity from last season. That is when he prunes. It may seem severe, but he knows better than we do what will cause better and more fruit to be produced. That is what he wants. Is that what you want?

The believer, church, or Christian organization that is never pruned becomes increasingly unfruitful compared to what would have happened if God were permitted to prune. We, in other words, are poor judges of what should grow and what should not, what is producing good fruit and what is not. God knows perfectly. Do your news letters or ones from other ministries sound like everything is constantly reaching new heights without any pruning? If so, they are not being real or have not known God’s essential work to keep us fruitful.

Let him do his work. Our fruit-bearing depends on it. Draw close to and abide in him.

John 15:2  “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.”       NIV      italics mine

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