Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.
“The deepest roots are always grown in the manure of life.” – Author unknown
I’ve heard all the “isms” before, but I didn’t believe it (at least I didn’t want to believe them). Things like; “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” OR another non-favorite; “It is doubtful whether God can use a man greatly until He’s allowed him to be broken deeply.”
While these are great sayings on paper they are deeply troubling when you actually go through the pain and difficulty that this life can bring.
This is where I find Jesus’ teaching incredibly helpful and encouraging:
“I am the vine, you are the branches, abide in me and I will abide in you. Every branch that does not bear fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire, every branch that bears fruit is pruned so that it bears more fruit.”
Pruning for Growth
Jesus doesn’t dismiss difficulties (aka pruning), rather he promises it. Jesus actually says that pruning is the sign that you’re actually bearing fruit. No pruning life = no growing and fruit production in life.
So what does pruning in life mean about your growth? Here are three important things to remember when you are in a season of pruning:
#1 – Pruning is a temporary, momentary setback that will not last forever!
While we tend to think that all difficult seasons have an indefinite appointed time we must remember that pruning is a season designed by God in our life to help us bear more fruit.
Instead of thinking as a victim during seasons of pruning we must strategically and graciously embrace the opportunity to grow.
#2 – Pruning is something that you will look back and appreciate when you have seen the growth and development in your life.
Hebrews 12 puts it this way; “No discipline seems fun at the time but it yields a harvest of righteousness by those who’ve trained by it.”
Its’ no fun going to the gym….until it’s summertime and it’s time to put on your swimsuit.
So it is with life, the pain, the difficulties and the troubles are the consummated means of growth in our life.
#3 – Pruning is hard and it’s okay to say it.
We tend to sugarcoat things and pretend that just because something is good for you that it also must feel good. That is not the case. Pruning is hard and it’s okay to admit it as such.
Struggles, troubles and trials are all hard and we should not talk about them any other way.
So if you’re in a season of pruning in your recovery be encouraged, there is something profound happening behind the scenes that you will one day stand back and see and be amazed!
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
In what ways have you experienced pruning in your life and in your addiction recovery?
About the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing.
He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
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Published on AddictionHope.com