Very early this morning I asked God why He had allowed some very painful things to occur in my life. I wasn’t angry with Him, and I wasn’t insecure about His love for me. I wasn’t questioning His involvement or His purposes for my life. I did not ask out of indignation nor out of hurt nor anything like that. I wasn’t fighting Him nor struggling to believe He was there and cared.
My heart was quiet. I trust Him. 4 things were firm in my heart:
1. He loves me
2. He is sovereignly and intimately involved in my life
3. His ways are perfect
4. Good would come from what He allowed
When I asked Him Why, I was really asking about the 4th statement – I was asking what good in particular He was intending to come from the painful situation. It was almost asking more out of curiosity than anything else.
I didn’t demand to know the answer. In fact, I expected not to know the answer for perhaps years to come; I expected to see it unfold in my life over time and that maybe someday I would look back and understand.
I asked like a child wondering what her Father is doing as she peeks over His shoulder and sees Him forming a masterpiece in His hands. My heart was quiet.
A few hours later, I read the first part of John 15 for my morning quiet time, and He answered me with John 15:2:
[Jesus said,] “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He [the Father] takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
I’ve read that verse many times, but this time God brought it to life for me.
When my grandpa prunes my late grandma’s pink rose bushes, he’s not cutting away dead stems or rotted growth. He’s actually cutting into living branches that are healthy and growing. Yet because he does so, the bushes thrive and flower and become even more beautiful.
In the same way, when God “hurts” me as He’s pruning me, it’s not because I’ve done something wrong (John 15:3 says, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you…”), and it’s not because that part of my life was bad or dying. But because of His pruning, I will thrive and be more beautiful and produce more fruit than I would have if I hadn’t been cut.
Even when I cry, I can say honestly that I’m thankful for His shears.