Cut Back to Grow More

He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.

Adam Purcell
Cut Back to Grow More

For my wife’s first mother’s day I knew I had to come up with a good plan – or at least something memorable. A fluke, sheer luck or a fleeting moment of genius resulted in the purchase of a rose tree. It has been a constant reminder of her first mother’s day for 11 years.

Now the rose tree was a great idea until we recently began the process of moving house. A few years ago it made the transition from a pot into the garden and has been flourishing. We knew that we needed an expert, so we entrusted our green thumb neighbour Sam. The outcome is we now have 4 cuttings to take with us as we move interstate. Sam obviously assessed our skills in the garden and has a few backup cuttings growing in his backyard in case these don’t survive.

When Sam first looked at our rose tree he asked which variety it was, to which I responded “a yellow one”. (Hence, the reason why Sam has backup cuttings at his place). He speculated for some time and reached a confusing conclusion.

His confusion was caused by the flower variety not matching the behaviour of the tree. We thought it was amazing that our little topiary rose tree had turned into a big tree and was creeping along the fence. We put it down to our amazing care and horticultures skills. Sam’s theory, however, was that because we didn’t prune the tree it went out of control. It turned into something it was never intended to be.

Our neat and tidy topiary rose tree had transformed into a climbing rose bush. It was never intended to be that way. Without pruning it and cutting it back each winter we had let it grow out of control.

Thanks to Sam it is back under control – but it took a lot of cutting and pruning with plenty of cuts on the hands and fingers from the thorns.

Being cut back and pruned is never an easy or enjoyable process for us – but it keeps us being who the Master Gardener intended us to be. It stops us from growing out of control and becoming something we were not intended to be.

Jesus, talking about the Father in John 15 said “He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”


Photo by Eco Warrior Princess on Unsplash

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