Those Whom He Loves, He Prunes

I love plants. Especially the plants that are simple looking and easy to take care of. So basically succulents, aloe vera, and cactus.

I was reading part of Matthew 13 when I got the inspiration to write this blog post. In Matthew 13, it starts with the Parable of the Sower. If you don’t know, this parable is about how a sower had some seeds that fell in various types of soil, but the seeds that fell in rich soil were the only ones that bore fruit. While reflecting on this parable and after reflecting on the meanings, I started thinking about the plants I have.

The other day, I decided to repot my plants. I went into my dad’s garden and grabbed some bigger pots and used the soil he offered me to repot them. Because I have read this parable before this was in the back of my mind while repotting them. I was wondering if the soil I was using would be good enough for the plants and if they would thrive when I moved them into a new pot, so they had room to grow.

I had been wanting to write a blog post since Mikayla had mentioned it about a week ago. I probably wrote about five different ones but none of them really felt right. When I read part of this chapter, I suddenly knew what I wanted to write about: plants. There are so many good parables and symbolism about plants and seeds in the bible.

On of my favorite use of symbolism of plants is the Vine and the Branches in John 15.

He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.

John 15:2

We read this passage about the in my bible study this year. After reading this passage, we focused a little bit on the word pruning. I learned that pruning basically means to cut off all the dead or dying parts of the plant so that the plant can focus on sustaining the alive parts, rather than focusing on the parts of the plant that are dying. Nearly every time I pick off a dying part of one of my plants, I think about how God can prune us because of what we talked about in bible study.

Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.

John 15:4

I recently started to really like this verse because I started to see the pruning God was doing in my life and how it allows me to be more fruitful.

Almost a year ago, God pruned me out of a habitual sin that I was stuck in and did not think I would be able to break. When I finally had a conversion to completely break this, I started praying more often, reading the bible, and I started attending the occasional daily mass offered at my Newman center, which I realized was my way of remaining in Him while He pruned me. His pruning also allowed me to become more fruitful in my prayer life.

Even more recently, God pruned a guy out of my life that I liked. The guy I liked and had been friends with for a while had asked me on a date, just before spring break. We didn’t have much of a chance to actually date, but we knew each other pretty well since we were friends for a while. Recently, I came to find out something about him that would not be good for me. At this point I was starting to pray the rosary daily and had been having a little bit of dryness in my prayers – probably because I was too focused on other things. God probably allowed me to find out about the thing that happened because I was trying to remain in Him through the rosary and so that He could prune this guy out of my life. After I cut ties with him, I noticed I was starting to become more fruitful in my prayer again.

I think this pandemic also allowed for some pruning in my life so that I could become more focused on prayer and my relationship with God. I now have more time to read the Bible and to spend more time with things like praying the rosary than I would have if those things had not been pruned out.

I like this verse especially because it helps me to understand why things might be happening in my life. None of these prunes were easy, but they happened so that other parts of my life might become more fruitful and so my focus wont be so much on the parts of my life that will never “bear fruit.” I can then be focused on the good that can come into my life instead.

What parts of our lives are bearing fruit? What parts of or lives are not? While there are some things we think we don’t want pruned from our lives, we have to keep in mind that Jesus knows us deeply and knows what we truly want and need. Allow Him to prune the unnecessary things and remain in His love. Trust in Him.

Then the Lord will guide you always

and satisfy your thirst in parched places,

will give you strength to your bones

And you shall be like a watered garden,

like a flowing spring whose waters never fail

Isaiah 58:11

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