Go Ahead, Prune Me…

We are clearly not farmers.

We tried. We bought a peach tree, not for abundant August peaches, but for privacy. We come from the botanical school of “plant a tree and sit back.”

We did.

That tree, for some reason, loves the Georgia red clay. She has flourished. She is after all a peach tree. And still I find myself saying, “Who knew?” (The peach on the state license plates wasn’t enough of a clue.)

Seeing the peach blossoms THRILLED us. She was no longer a “privacy tree,” she was OUR pride and joy!  We did it! I was beyond the moon to know we’d have fresh peaches! Fresh, juicy peaches. I envisioned myself as the “Forest Gump of peaches; peach pie, peach smoothies, peach cobbler, peach preserves….”

Will this gal ever learn that pride comes before the fall? Apparently not yet.

The fall came one Sunday after church service.  We spoke to a veteran gardener and botanist about our certain abundant harvest. He went on inquire, “Just how many peaches do you have on that tree of yours?”

Puffed up, I responded, “Hundreds!”

He cocked his head and proceeded to tell me that unless you “prune” the tree to approximately 6 peaches per branch, you won’t yield a productive harvest. That sounded like contradiction to this novice peach grower’s ears.  The more the merrier right?

Not so fast sister.

With that one conversation all my summertime farmer’s market stand dreams died.  You see our tree nets 20 something per branch. It’s late July and her branches touch the ground, and many have broken off; weary of the weight of the fruit her limbs bear. A passing torrential rainstorm weakens her branches near the trunk and they crack.  Not pruning her has destroyed her and her harvest. Sure, we’ll salvage a few glorified golf ball sized peaches, but abundance? Nowhere near it.

God ever speak to you in peaches in need of pruning?

Not allowing Him to prune me will destroy me as well.

OUCH!

Pruning hurts.

Pruning isn’t pretty.

Our tree looked glorious with her blossoms blooming, but those very blossoms left unpruned, became her demise. Pruning is purifying. Pruning is necessary. Pruning lifts the weight that becomes unbearable.  I pray that I have a heart willing to be pruned by the vine-dresser.

 

“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 does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”  John 15: 1-2

Seriously, God will pipe up in the most unexpected places and if you’re not paying attention, He just might let a branch or two fall on your head.

In what ways do you need pruning this summer?


Do you feel like you have been pruned and are bearing fruit?

 

Lori MacMath

Lori's daily mantra includes praying, "I will take it Lord, ALL you have to give," and a commitment to live out Colossians 3:17 daily. It's her prayer that the energy that fills her spirit be with her till her dying breath! Nearly two years ago, Lori traded the sauna of the Deep South, for the snow of Chicago. After 19 years in Atlanta, Lori has bought herself a coat and some winter boots and is ready for the NEXT adventure at Harvest Bible Chapel / Chicago West. She navigates this road with her husband of 26 years and they have 3 children, ranging in age from 17 - 22. She seeks daily to be creative and use the gifts the Lord has given her. With the heart of an artist and a spirit to live intentionally missional, Lori strives daily to see Him in all that surrounds her. Encouraging women on their daily walk with the Lord is her passion! She has recently stepped out into NEW territory with her husband in the inner city of Chicago. She is on staff at Harvest Chicago West, in the Austin neighborhood, where the Lord is opening her eyes to Urban Ministry and Discipleship. Lori and her husband also have a Business as Missions endeavor that helps empower women and missionaries around the world. She would be HONORED if you'd visit Hope Products International where providing HOPE to the world through fair trade and sustainable products. Lori has served in a number of roles over the years, ranging from Camp/Leadership Adventure Coordinator, a mid week Bible club for elementary and upper elementary students in a local public elementary school as well as being on staff at her church. She is excited in this season to watch the Lord unfold HIS plans for the next step on the journey. Helping others, loving others where they are and seeing the transforming power of Jesus is at the heart of all she does. Her heart for children, women and all those on the broken road is at the core of everything she does. She LOVES playing graphically and encouraging others through visual arts, and her passion for Discipleship is at the heart of all she does. It truly inspires her and fills her spirit.

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12 Comments

  1. Awesome post sis.

    Reply
  2. Oooh! I love it! God has been telling me to simplify. I need to let God prune all the “harvest” and focus just on a few peaches in my life. I have to let go of all the “good” and hold on to the few fruits that serve my God-designed purpose!

    Thanks for such a wonderful story!

    Reply
  3. “Not pruning her has destroyed her and her harvest. Sure, we’ll salvage a few glorified golf ball sized peaches, but abundance? Nowhere near it.” What a choice! Pruning or destruction. Wow. The pruning suddenly sounds better. Destroyed doing what we thought was a very good thing…

    Thank you!
    Hugs!

    Reply
  4. Oh – this is powerful – and what a reminder. I needed this. Thanks, dear Lori.

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  5. Hi Lori,
    Every time I prune my roses, I am reminded of this verse. It becomes so visual for me. However, I still need the peace of heart to accept the Lord’s pruning in my life. Seeing and feeling it are two different things.

    Blessings,
    Janis

    Reply
  6. LORI!!!!!! This verse literally carried me nine years ago when I was “running through hell in gasoline panties”! I was absolutely being pruned and I truly believe literally EVERY branch had to be cut from me so that I may bear fruit. What a beautiful visual – I am absolutely printing it and putting it on my bathroom mirror. Thank you for such a lovely gift!

    Reply
  7. It seems to be only after the branches fall on my head that I see what God wanted me to do in the first place! Lately, He has been showing me a couple of areas that need pruning, and I am seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit that I may know His will. Pruning isn’t easy, but it hurts alot less than disobedience!

    Reply
  8. Hmm. As a gardener, I ‘get’ pruning. I prune to allow the roses, zinnias, hydrangeas, peach tree etc to have more nutrients go to the good parts and produce better blooms and fewer but healthier stock. But, when you said “Pruning lifts the weight that becomes unbearable.” Man, that has been MY life lately; not the life of my plants.
    New understanding matures me in God’s pruning process of me. Thank you for those words that smacked me in the face (& heart).

    Reply
  9. I lack that neccessary green thumb. :o)

    Beautiful blog. Just this morning I was praying on the way to work and prayed for pruning, half fearfully, because I knew pruning hurt, but I knew it would only hurt for a little bit. Then, my Father will kiss the wound and make it better.

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  10. Needed this as I am being pruned right now! Thanks for always providing what I need to hear!

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  11. As far as your questions, I guess I’m in between the two. Still being pruned, not quite seeing the like of day yet. But I am confident that he who promised is faithful! I love the peach post! I’ve been taught several times through my dog!!!

    Reply
  12. What a wonderful post. Thank you so much for that reminder.

    Reply

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