While writing and thinking about abiding and pruning, I read this in Stormie Omartian’s book, Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On, I thought it fit perfectly with this concept.
“Every fall in California we would cut back our rosebushes back to nearly nothing. For about four months they looked like pathetic little dead sticks from which nothing could ever possibly grow again. But when spring came, they blossomed and bloomed profusely. First they grew hundreds of little buds. Then one by one they opened and burst into all shades of pink, purple, yellow, burgundy, and white. Abundant, fragrant, breathtaking, life-giving flowers that people driving or walking by would stop to admire. That’s what God wants to do with us. He wants us to be His rose garden. He wants us to have beauty and purpose, and to give out a lifegiving fragrance to those around us. But first comes the pruning. First comes the period of dead-looking sticks.
When God wants to make changes in our lives, and we’re willing to let Him, He starts by cutting away all that is necessary. In this process, He strips us from everything that could hinder our future growth, in order to prepare us to bring forth good fruit. Our life may look barren during that time, but God is actually freeing us from anything that does not bring forth life. This process of surrendering to the Lord, especially our dreams and desires is called pruning.”