Pruning is Painful … and Necessary
Furrier with age.
The older I get, the furrier I become! I’m not even talking about my legs or armpits or places seen only by Mr. 4-Ever. I’m talking about the dark thick hairs on my upper lip, the tufts growing out of my nostrils and the whiskers jutting out of my chin! My natural eyebrow arch has morphed into a dash. Hair’s growing up my forehead and under my brows like ivy on a brick wall.
What’s a girl to do?
That’s when I saw the sign for HAIR THREADING in the window of a little shop by my house. Unlike the open air chairs at the mall, this place afforded privacy and appointments.
Now, Girls, if you have never been threaded, let me explain the process. A technician puts you in a chair that reclines under lights as bright as the sun. She quickly assesses your face as she shakes her head in pity and disbelief that you have had to walk around in public with this horrible growth.
“Oh, Honey! You should have come in sooner. You want your whole face done?”
“No, just my brows today.”
“Oh, Honey, you sure?” she says with a look of disgust as she hands me the 10X magnifying glass that reveals Every. Single. Hair. on my face.
“Mmm, just the brows today.”
“Ok, Honey!” she says sorrowfully and gets to work. Unrolling a long piece of white thread from an enormous spool, she winds it around her fingers like an elaborate game of Cat’s Cradle. As I hold my skin taut, she traps the hair in the twisted threads and pulls.
Oh. My. Yikes. It hurts!
My eyes start to water. I sneeze. My nose runs. She hands me a tissue. Why am I paying this woman to torture me? More tears. More sneezing. More pauses to dab at my nose and eyes.
Eighteen tissues later, I am released from the torture chair and given the 10x magnifying mirror. I’m ecstatic. I look like a movie star! Well, at least my eyebrows do.
As I pay the bill, she asks if I want to book my next appointment.
“Absolutely!” I say.
Pruning is painful, but necessary.
Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2 NIV
Every branch is under scrutiny. For our own good, for the good of others and to glorify the Father, every branch is either cut off or pruned. While pruning is painful, the outcomes are many.
- Multiplies resources for remaining branches.
- Exposes unhealthy branches.
- Provides space for new growth.
Pruning is for your good.
Consider my friend, Jackie’s* situation. After being let go from a good paying job, she was forced to find new employment. Not only did it pay more, but had better work environment and wonderful co-workers.
Karen* sold the home she raised her family in so she could move across country to care for her elderly mom. While purging and packing the house, she felt physically and emotionally lighter. A tangible sense of satisfaction and freedom fell on her knowing she wouldn’t be saddling her kids with a big mess.
Although painful, Rhea* had to extricate herself from a long term friendship. She’d begun to feel trapped and exhausted but wanted to be a spiritual light in her friend’s darkness. Finally God showed Rhea that she could pray for her friend and wish her well without remaining close.
Pruning is definitely unpleasant, but if we trust the One who’s doing the pruning, we will always reap a benefit.
How have you experienced pruning in a way that was ultimately beneficial? Leave me a comment below.
Today’s Scripture: All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)
Pray With Me … God, I know that I need to be constantly prepared for change and pruning to experience all the growth and joy you intend for me. Give me grace and courage to face these times trusting you have my best in mind. In Jesus Name amen.
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