This was our lesson in Bible Study last week. It also happens to be my Confirmation verse. It was a timely message as we were dealing with some difficult things in our family last week. It led to a conversation about pruning. How pruning is done to make the branch more fruitful. But pruning hurts. And it's done in the winter, when it's cold and bleak. Pruning is hard. We don't like it.
But after the winter, we have the promise of spring. And in the spring, we have the blossoms and new fruit. Without the painful pruning, we wouldn't be able to be the children God intends us to become.
I still sting from the intense pruning God did in my life five years ago. There is still pain and the occasional stab of anger and betrayal. But I look at where God has brought me, and I'm overwhelmed by the fruit He has brought into my life as a result of that pruning.