Sometimes my daughter gets confused. This world is a crazy place to live in and try to understand. The more you try to explain it the more you understand why little ones get confused.
For instance, sometimes you take your child to the doctor because they are sick. They don’t feel good and need help, so to the doctor they go. Other times they are taken to the doctor even though they feel perfectly fine. We call these visit’s “check up’s.” To an adult it makes sense, but to a toddler the purpose does not matter – it is a trip to the doctor, which most kids want to avoid.
Little kids aren’t the only ones who get confused. We as adults can often find ourselves confused and scared when we do not understand what is happening around us.
The other day I found myself re-reading a passage of Scripture and noticed something for the first time. In John 15 Jesus speaks to the idea of remaining and abiding with God. The passage is familiar, but the implication was brand new. John 15:1-2 reads,
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.
- The branches that bear no fruit meet the spiritual scalpel, because their connection to the vine has not produced the results God intended.
- The branches that do bear fruit meet the spiritual scalpel, because under the pressure of their results they need pruning, which will lead to more fruitfulness.
Many of us spend our lives avoiding the spiritual scalpel. We run from it out of fear of pain. We avoid it because we hate change. Here is the simple fact – none of us avoid the spiritual scalpel in this life. The one thing we can affect is the purpose of the scalpel.
Too often we expend time and energy trying to avoid the inevitable. No one likes going under the knife – but when you know it is for your good it changes your perspective.
So there is purpose in our spiritual surgery, and our spiritual fruit determines it. Each of us will have times when we find ourselves in the surgery room of the Great Physician. The question to ask is, “what is the purpose here?”
Are there areas in your life that do not produce spiritual fruit, and God needs to cut them away for your own good?
Are there areas of strength where spiritual fruit is being produced and God is helping to shape you for greater impact?
Perhaps the most important question in the face of change – will you trust that God cares for you and wants the best for you?