John 15:1-2 - I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
We've had a few storms this spring and summer. After our yard spring cleanup I remember walking through a garden and getting tangled in twigs and branches. I wondered why they hadn't been picked up; were they missed.
Then after I had picked those branches up and another storm came through and I was again in the garden being attacked by branches, it dawned on me they were the product of nature's pruning. These branches were of no further use to the tree. And so every rain that came or every strong wind that blew through our yard, more twigs and branches dropped to the ground.
Let me add this tree is abundant with branches and leaves. The pruning no doubt allowed this to happen. More larger branches need to be cut back soon. Anything no longer needed in our own lives should be removed that more of Him can enter in. Let Him prune away. Let the axe fall at the root of any hindrance.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
So, storms of life might arise. They might just be there to help prune us of unnecessary things. Maybe to prompt us to ditch some things in our life. Could be anything. It would be different for all of us, to some degree. What hinders our relationship with God? We need to go to God for guidance. Maybe we don't feel strong enough on our own to let something go. Ask Him.
I think of the temptations and trials Jesus went through because people were offended by Him. He was able to go through them all because He was in communion with and trusting in His Father. Jesus paid it all. He went through it all for us. That is some Savior.
I hear the Savior say,
"Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all."
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
So we are to consider it pure joy that we go through trials. We may not see it but He is pruning those branches through our trials and but one day we will see. We'll see the next trial and recall how we got through the last one...through Him. Little by little He cuts away the chaff leaving only good growth. Lord, prune more of me.
Matthew 3:10 - And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.