I remember when I was a grounds keeper at Center College and my supervisor taught me how to prune trees and shrubs. He explained that you must be willing to cut away whatever it takes to open up the center of the plant to life-giving light and air. I became the “master pruner,” to where the supervisor sent me to do all the pruning.
One time I was sent to prune a berry bush that the other workers ate from. I pruned it according to my training, but the workers became very angry with me and wouldn’t let me live it down – that is, until the spring, when the bush bore more fruit than it ever had as a result of pruning.
Sometimes God has to prune people – and even churches – to get them to grow, and wherever He is pruning it hurts. Just remember that pruning is necessary for health, growth and productivity. Jesus said, “Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). Don’t fight the shears, but allow God to do His life-giving work in your life.