Weekly Blog: How Losing Helps You Grow
Oct 28, 2019 1959
We all like to accumulate, don’t we? No one hates to lose. When we gain something, we celebrate! But we associate loss with misfortune, and with grieving.
That’s why some of the things that Jesus said can seem so strange to us. In John 15, just after saying that he is the true vine and we are the branches, he says,
My Father is the gardener. 2 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).
Now, this is a strange thing for Jesus to say! In other words, if you aren’t bearing fruit then God will cut things away off your life, and if you are bearing fruit, then God will still cut things off your life. It sounds like a lose-lose situation, doesn’t it?
None of this sounds pleasant. It’s like a lose-lose situation.
God wants you to be happy. He wants you to enjoy his blessings.
Not only do the branches of a vine not bear fruit properly if it isn’t pruned, but neither does it grow and reach its full potential.
God wants you to be always growing towards the very best version of you. And the very best version of you has a most wonderfully fruitful life.
But, and it’s a big “but”, the only way that can happen is through a process of loss.
And here’s why. Because pride doesn’t bear fruit. Selfishness doesn’t bear fruit. Unforgiveness doesn’t bear fruit. Fear doesn’t bear fruit.
And all your life, you’re going to be start putting out the branches of selfishness, unforgiveness and fear, and so on. These branches aren’t nourished from the true vine. They’re nourished by self.
You Need to Trust in the Work of the Divine Gardener
If you’re connected to the vine, it means you’re giving the Father permission to spot these sickly branches and cut them off. That way, other healthy branches will grow, to bear fruit in your life. That’s what the Father does, he’s continually going around and removing those branches in our lives, often even without our knowing it.
Sometimes we have been so hurt by others, and sometimes even by bad religion, that we’ve covered our lives with layers of false identities. We place layers of armour around our hearts, to make sure that we aren’t hurt again. And we stop bearing fruit. You can’t connect properly to the vine with these barriers in place. And so the Divine Gardener has to remove those also, so your life can be fruitful again.
Pruning can be painful, Perhaps at times you will be confused. Perhaps at times you will need to mourn something you thought was important. However, but you’ll never find true happiness again unless you let the Father do his work.
Sometimes we put out a branch to go left, but God wants us to go right in our lives. Snip. Or God sees that we are becoming too dependent on a particular material possession. Snip.
We need to trust in the work of the Divine Gardener. When he prunes something from our lives, it’s only because he wants to replace it with something better. It’s only because he wants your joy to be full (John 15:11, NKJV).
– Eliezer Gonzalez