“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

Isn’t it funny how doing something like repair work inevitably makes a huge mess before the improvement can be seen?

Right now, the floor is being worked on in my kitchen, trying to make things work a little better and look a little nicer.  But what a mess!  Moving appliances is not for the faint of heart – especially when moving them reveals all the dust and debris underneath.  And even though doing things like this doesn’t take much time in the big scheme of things (in my kitchen’s case, only two days), it can seem like a lot longer when things have been shuffled around and are generally out of order.  Yet I know that by Thursday, it will all have been worth it.

Pruning things also makes a mess.  Earlier this spring, my father-in-law pruned the trees in my yard.  They’re all very little trees, several of which my husband and I planted.  So they don’t really have many branches yet.  My inclination is to let everything grow and grow as much as possible, to get the trees as big as they can as fast as possible.  But that isn’t how trees grow best.  My father-in-law pruned the trees way back, shortened the branches and seemingly chopping off as much as he left.  It made quite a mess in the yard that day, but I know the trees will be better for it.  They will have the chance to grow fuller and healthier, much better than they would have if I had just left them alone.

God does the same thing with us.  As this verse in John illustrates, sometimes we need to have a little work done in order to grow to our full potential.  And sometimes that work can be inconvenient or appear to be damaging, but in the end God is doing everything He can to help us become who it is He has designed us to be.