If you identify as follower of Jesus, you have most likely been through or will go through a time of pruning. Pruning is an agricultural term that involves removing diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or unwanted parts of a plant, and so in Christianity, we believe that God prunes us by using uncomfortable situations to develop characteristics within us like love, joy, perseverance to name a few. It is almost never an enjoyable process because it calls us to die to our flesh, and to our own way of thinking so that we can produce the good fruit God wants us to produce (John 15:2). Ultimately God prunes us because He loves us and wants us to be prepared for our life ahead here on earth and in heaven.
One way to tell if you are being pruned, is if God highlights an issue to you and that same issues keeps coming up; for example, you desire to have a large family of your own but you lack patience so God gives you a difficult friend or co-worker to love and in one way or another you are having to exercise patience every single day. In another instance, God wants to develop self control within you when it comes to spending money because He has plans to bless you with a thriving career and wealth and so you find yourself going through a tough financial season where every penny you earn counts so you have to learn to budget and manage your money well. Until, we grow in the areas that God wants to prune us in, we will continue to encounter situations that will force a change with us.
Whilst it is natural to reject pruning, it works better for us to quickly accept it and learn from it. We do this by surrendering to God; adapting His way of thinking (Matt 11:29) and allowing His word to transform us. In principle we should strive to see past the pain of pruning and look ahead into all that God has for us because we can only enjoy these things when we have a heaven-ward mindset.
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
Maverick City Music - Refiner