About half of this tree’s branches have completely broken in the past few years. You can see some hanging down that are broken and some big branches on the ground, and you can see how messed up the shape of the tree is toward the top half because of all the broken limbs.
Some interesting tidbits about How to Prune an Apple Tree – at www.weekendgardner.net
As you read these pruning tips, please be thinking about how God desires to prune us spiritually and why He does this…
1. Goals and Timing
There are normally two goals when pruning an apple tree:
Initially on young trees to encourage a strong, solid framework
On mature trees to maintain shape and encourage fruit production
The best time to prune apple trees is in late winter or very early spring before any new growth starts.
This entire article blessed me as I thought about the comparisons to pruning a tree vs God pruning our souls. Check it out if you have time, and think about how it relates to God pruning us like He talks about in John 15. You can also see images of properly pruned trees. They look very different from this one above!
Here is a pic of this same apple tree from this past spring:
A discussion between the Peacefulwife and The JoyFilled Wife (for more of her story, please click here)…
You and I have had some great conversations lately about how God has used the absence of others to lead us to rely completely on Him, haven’t we? I think, when it all comes down to it, God wants us to see that He is more than enough. That He is able to fill every longing and every void in our hearts.
If our husband, children, friends, and family, were all to die tomorrow, our life would not be any less complete. We would be heartbroken, and understandably so, but our actual needs in life would not be forfeited. That’s something that the Lord has shown me much of lately. Spending nearly all of my marriage winning my husband without a word and truly not being able to rely on him to meet most of my needs and longings, the Lord was so faithful to show me that
My marital poverty was an opportunity for spiritual abundance.
I can say from experience that Jesus is more than enough. He is my first and truest love. I wouldn’t trade my relationship with my Savior for even the most perfect of marriages. I would rather live desolate than to never know the love of my Savior.
I was listening to a sermon yesterday by Dr. David Jeremiah. I couldn’t keep my eyes dry. He is so spot on regarding God’s purpose for pain and suffering in our lives. We must choose to look at every seeming deficit in our lives as a blessing in disguise. When God prepares us for greater things, He must strip us of the lesser. He is pruning us so that we may bear greater fruit for His Kingdom. Without that pruning, we would wither away and die. The storms of life are meant to expose our weaknesses so that we may strengthen them and build a stronger foundation. Without the trials and storms of life, we would never see the areas of our live that are disintegrating.
May we rejoice in our sufferings and the times when Jesus graciously tells us “no” so that He can say “yes” to something so much greater and more worthwhile.
Thank you so much for sharing this. How I pray we might all cultivate this holy perspective about our trials and the obstacles and problems we face. I have experienced this, too. Having no mentors and feeling very alone in my marriage in the beginning years of this journey taught me to only look to God to meet my needs. I am thankful for that now!
There is an apple tree near a school in our neighborhood that has never been pruned. I think of how God prunes us as believers and how very important the pruning process (sanctification) is every time I see that tree. In the late summer, the tree is so loaded with fruit that the long unpruned branches begin to bend and bow over until many of them break completely off of the tree every year. The poor tree looks wretched! I can’t help but wonder what it would look like and how much more fruit it could bear if it were pruned properly by someone who knew what he/she was doing.
Some family members of mine have several fruit trees in their yard. It’s quite costly to keep them pruned and they are far too busy to care about doing it themselves. Every time I visit, I can’t believe how tiny the fruit are that grow on those trees. They are puny. If the trees were pruned properly, there would be large, ripe fruit growing there and the branches would be able to sustain the harvest. The puny, overly ripe fruit is completely useless. It never develops the proper texture or flavor to be pleasurable to eat. How similarly our lives are when we refuse to let go of the useless, worldly things in our life that choke our ability to ever be used for God’s pleasure and glory. If only we would stop resisting God’s faithful pruning and let go and let God, we would be amazed at the beauty of the fruit He develops in our lives.
THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES John 15:
15 “I am the true vine, and 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. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 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.
5 “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. 6 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. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
THE PURPOSE OF ADVERSITY IN THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4