Did you know that late winter is the best time to prune plants for the health of the plant? Although we intentionally remove diseased, dead or damaged branches throughout the year, for most plants late winter is the very best time to prune to maximize the flowering and fruit bearing ability of that plant for the coming season. In late winter there are very little leaves covering the plant so it is easy to see the plant structure. It is also ideal to prune at this time because the plant is most protected. Airborne pathogens are minimal in winter so this protects the plant from outward infection. And because the plant is dormant, the sap is down inside the plant. This provides internal protection for the plant from the loss of sap.
Are you in a season of pruning? Maybe you chose to prune areas of your life by making New Year’s Resolutions or by setting goals. Maybe you are experiencing pruning you didn’t choose for yourself through your work, ministry, family or health situations. How can we walk through these difficult seasons in a way that brings the greatest growth and health to our souls?
“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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. “ John 15:1-9
The last verse tells us. The way to walk through difficult seasons of pruning is to remain in His love. Stay connected to the True Vine – Jesus the Lover of your soul. Let Him love you. Let His love be your life blood. Nothing can separate you from His love. His love is perfect. In His love there is no fear.
Whatever “instrument” God is using to prune you, keep your eyes focused on Him and your heart open to His flow in you. It will bring healing to your soul and bear much fruit in your life and those around you.