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Jesus: Our Gentle Tree Doctor

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.
John 15:2

This beautiful century-old Kiawe tree stands at the edge of Waikiki Beach on the property of a four-diamond hotel in Honolulu.

As you can imagine, the tree is landmark. At sunset, the tree is the backdrop for a trio playing traditional Hawaiian music accompanied by a graceful hula dancer.

I was interested to learn that this tree gets regular check-ups and pruning from its own tree doctor! Oh, the hotel has gardeners to keep the landscape lush. However, when they tried to prune the tree, it almost died.

Now the tree has its own arborist – or tree doctor who knows how to gently prune it. With proper care, Kiawe trees can live more than 1,000 years. So the 100-year-old tree is relatively young.

As I heard this story, I thought of how Jesus gently prunes us as we mature in our Christian walk. He knows us intimately. He knows just how to prune us for more growth without harming us permanently.

Sometimes pruning is relatively painless – like a haircut. However, other times, it can be painful. Only later, do we realize the purpose. And sometimes, we will only see the purpose in heaven. Yet we know God is good and that He is for us.

I think of pruning as a temporary loss for something greater in the future. I’m reminded of a painful breakup with a guy I thought I would marry. Ten years later, I met my husband. Now I’m so glad that first relationship didn’t pan out how I thought. God knew what I needed more than I did. He blessed me with an incredible husband.

Can you think of a time you were pruned for future growth? Maybe you’re being pruned now. If so, take comfort in Romans 8:28.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


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