As a believer, I am learning to tune in to the voice of the Lord, especially in the dull and ordinary everyday moments of life; resisting to buy-in to the perception that God only speaks to us at particular times or in specific settings. I am of the school of thought that believes that there should not be a dualism between my faith, work and everyday life. I truly believe that God wants to anoint us to be the best accountants, stay-at-home moms, doctors, researchers and whatever your area of calling may be. He desires to walk into your office with you, so as to use you as an effective witness for Him through your excellent work. In addition, we need to learn the beauty of inviting Him to be a part of our day to day routines, praying on-the-go because He desires to be involved in every area of our lives, both big and small.
In one of those moments of on-the-go prayer, my attention was drawn to a certain portion of scripture- John 15:1-3: “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” This verse continued to pop-up when listening to sermons and most importantly, during my alone time with the Lord. [It is important to note that God may repeat an instruction, warning or encouragement so that we can be aware of what He is saying and doing]. While continuing to ask the Lord about the significance of this verse in my life, He brought my attention to the work of a farmer. The farmer diligently tends to his crops, removing unwanted parts and putting fertilizer where needed. All this he does, only for the good of the crops.
It was not long after this that the pruning began. I felt it in many areas of my life, but mostly in my calling. Having foreknowledge that this season would come did not make it any easier, but it did help in adjusting my attitude to the process. Here is what I learned and continue to learn in His garden:
Because all the Lord does is for our benefit and growth, we can choose to trust that He is with us in our greatest of challenges and that He means well. Growth only occurs when we abide in Him (John 15:5). This means that despite your current struggle, the answers you need can only be found in Jesus. While the temptation to run off may seem like an option, in the long run it will only lead you to pain and suffering. Abide when you feel that the Lord has disappointed you. Abide when you don’t understand. Abide with tears in your eyes. Abide, abide, abide!
Imagine having to lose all your wealth and all that you have worked hard to gain. Imagine coming home to receive the awful news that your beloved children are no more. Imagine having to struggle with aches and pains in your body with no respite. This unwarranted attack on Job’s life may have pushed him to the brink of insanity or suicide, but Job 1:20 records that despite Job’s heartbreak and anguish, he fell to the ground in worship. While Job’s troubles were instigated by Satan with the intention to destroy him, we see Job’s reaction being one of worship. Sometimes life hits us hard and we may not have a song to sing or prayer to make, but God promises that the waters will not drown you, nor the fire burn you (Isaiah 43:2). Let us commit to worshipping God, even when everything in and around us seems broken, knowing that with the Lord, all His tests are geared at refining you as opposed to destroying you.
The Bible exhorts us to remain faithful in fellowship (Hebrews 10:25). Community is a vital component in the life of a believer. However, the temptation to withdraw from other believer’s is great when you are enduring a personal challenge. Continue to allow other Christians to encourage and love you through the seasons of pruning. Don’t go it alone, there are people God has placed in your life strategically who will help you.
I would like to pray with you if you find yourself in a season of pruning. Kindly, drop me a note in the comment section. I will not publish your comment.