I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Recently I moved all my houseplants to the back porch where there is shade until late afternoon. Our summers are extremely hot and being in the shade seems to suit their needs much better than being in more direct sunlight.
As I was watering and pulling away dead leaves from my plants the thought came to my mind; “Does the plant feel pain when I do this?” Almost immediately the Lord brought to my mind the scripture where He said He purges the branch (us) so we will bear more and better fruit. I looked again at the plant, and I saw all the new growth starting to come out. The new leaves look so pretty and green without the dead mixed in with it. Just as pruning the plant helps it to grow and flourish, we also grow and flourish when the Lord cuts away dead and destructive things from our lives. I have felt the pain of having those destructive things removed from my life, but as time has passed, I also see new growth in my life, and how I am flourishing in so many ways without those things that once held me back. It is not easy when the Lord removes certain things or even people from our lives; yet in His infinite wisdom He always knows what is best for us.
Take time to sit down and look at your life. Are there things in your life you know are holding you back from becoming fruitful? As the Lord works to remove those things trust that He knows what is best for you and let go of those destructive things so you can grow into a fruitful disciple for the Lord.