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I was never a farmer or a professional gardener. Perhaps at the task of taking care of my little garden in the backyard of my house I was moderately good, but not perfect, to be honest. There is no need to be a farmer to know that seasons come and go, and bring with them changes sometimes noticeable, and often not as noticeable as well. Life brings in itself many seasons that promote necessary changes. When we go through them with an open heart to receive what God wants to teach us we are able to see the challenges and beauty that each season brings to our lives.

I decided to think of the experience of pruning a plant, and see how this applies to us and how much we are still far from understanding this process. You have to have confidence that you are in the true vine, which is Jesus, and that the father is the wise farmer.

The first impression that the word "prune" brings to my mind is negative: Cut! Stop giving fruit! Death! This may not seem so negative to those who only like to philosophize about this subject, but for those who are living the pruning experience, it seems to go against everything we learned in the Christian life. As children of God, we are called to bear fruit, called to life. We are grafted but not cut down!

Now see what an engineer of natural resources says about pruning a plant:

Pruning is an important task for maintaining plant health. The plants are pruned to bear more fruit, flowers, leaves, to prevent disease or to achieve the ornamental geometric shape desired. Pruning is not a physiological need of plants so they can live but it should be well done. The act of pruning a branch causes the appearance of new buds and shoots. They have a substitution effect and will develop in different ways depending on the time that they have.

However my second impression is positive. After reading and meditating on the words of one experienced in this matter, my perspective now is of life, of renewal, more fruit, more leaves, more beauty!

I have been living in England for more than fifteen years, and it always impresses me the change of seasons which happen here. Because they are more defined this helps us to understand better this process. In winter, all the leaves fall, or nearly all, and it seems impossible for them to return and even more to bring fruit!! The tree is there leafless, quietly gaining strength in itself waiting for the next season to arrive. It is at this stage that the pruning happens. The time is difficult and then comes the farmer to prune its branches!! But he knows the potential of your tree and that the next season is just about to come!

John: 15 clearly teaches us that our lives are in God's hands! Are they not? The Lord! The farmer! Faithful Gardener!

Maybe to think about the possibility of not bearing fruit for a while, and gaining strength in yourself and in the sap that comes from God, and then giving fruit in season, is too difficult for me and for you! But in Jesus there is time for all things: time to be seed, time to be planted, time to grow, time to be pruned, time to be full of leaves, time to be without leaves, and in all these things we are more than winners in Christ Jesus the True Vine.

In him we live ...

Pr . Marcelo Guimarães

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