October 30, 2013

Pruning the Vine

During my university days, about 40 years ago, I had a summer job at the Horticultural Research Station in Vineland. Studies were being done on many types of fruit, including grapes.

The grape vine has a winter hardy root stock and grafted grape variety branches. Three horizontal wires are used to tie up the six branches. Suckers and diseased branches are pruned off, gathered, and burned because they don't bear fruit. Even the six fruit bearing branches need to be pruned so that they will produce the maximum amount of fruit.

Pruning is 'painful' for the branches as they 'bleed' sap after being cut. The Bible describes this necessary pruning in John 15, illustrating the process taking place in the life of every believer. Pruning may be a sickness, a business failure, a broken marriage or failed relationship, whatever is necessary for the believer to bring him to his knees and shape him into what he needs to be.

For me, part of this pruning is ALS. The Lord is using this sickness to make me more dependent on Him, to spend more time in prayer and meditation, to humble me, and perhaps even to write this blog. Every trial and affliction is carefully weighed in His nail pierced hands before He gives it to His children. This thought makes it easier to submit and to endure the trial. I am but clay in the hands of the Potter preparing me for heaven.

Have thine own way Lord, have thine own way,
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me,
After Thy will,
While I am waiting,
Yielded and still.



  1. Dear Jack & Lena and family, Although it is painful to hear of the illness you are called to bear, it is a blessing to read of your desire to be shaped by His Hands. Wishing you the true spiritual joy that accompanies being molded and fashioned in His likeness. May you be given much of everything you need. We thank the Lord that Underneath Are The Everlasting Arms (Deut 33:26 & 27) With love, John and Jennifer and family

  2. Thanks, dear brother. The Vine Dresser is wise pruning for increased fruit to His praise. May many more be grafted into the True Vine. This sermon helps us understand the sanctifying grace of God in His branches.

  3. This blog is also such a blessing for me. To rest alone in our dear Saviour and Redeemer and to find only in Him all what you needs and although the trials and afflictions to know sure: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He is so wise and full of love to make us ready for His glory! Nog een kleine tijd en Hij zal komen en niet vertoeven. Dan volmaakt Zijn lof ontvouwen, Hem in gerechtigheid aanschouwen, Verzadigd met Zijn Goddelijk beeld. We zullen Hem aanbidden tot in eeuwigheid voor Zijn genadige handen, Die ons wilden kneden tot eer van Hem. Om Jezus'wil!