“Ouch! Mr. Husbandman, why did you just cut one of my stems off? I especially liked that one. I loved admiring it and wanted to keep and treasure it always. Why did you take from me what I valued so much?”
“Because, dear branch, that stem was hampering new growth. If I had left it, it would have taken away attention and energy for new stems to grow. And with weakened energy, you would have become a brittle plant, weak in every area. You would have aged and died too quickly. Trust that I know what to remove in order to produce new growth.”
“Ouch! Mr. Husbandman, you just sliced into one of my other branches! You went too deep. It hurts so much! And now that stem isn’t growing in its original direction anymore. I liked that direction–it was comfortable, easy, and pleasurable. Why did you cut it so deep that it now grows in a new and painful direction? This way is too hard!”
“Because, dear branch, I have plans for that stem–special plans that require a new direction. If it kept growing its original way, it would miss that special plan completely. Trust that I will take each stem in the best direction.”
“Ouch! Mr. Husbandman, you just cut off one of my smaller stems completely! Why in the world would you do that? It may have been small for a while now, but I thought it had so much potential. You didn’t even give it a chance! Why?”
“Because, dear branch, what you didn’t know is that a disease had begun to infest that stem–that’s why it was so small. If I had left it there, the disease not only would have killed that stem but also could have infested the whole plant and killed you.
Plus, before your death, you would have grown used to the feel of the disease and wouldn’t have recognized the damage until it was too late. What seems minor to you now could have major consequences later. Trust Me to remove what is bad and harmful even if you don’t see it yourself.”
“Ouch! Why did you slice those specific stems? They were doing just fine. They even had healthy and pretty fruit on them! Now I might lose that fruit. Why did you cut into such good stems?”
“Because, dear branch, you can only see the fruit in front of you. I know the future though, and I know that by cutting and slicing, I can grow even more, even bigger, and even better fruit from these stems. Trust My long-term knowledge of your potential growth.”
Snip. Snap. Snip. Snap.
“Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Mr. Husbandman, you’re hurting me so much! That area was thick and full, and you just cut it all up. Now it’s thin and sparse and I can’t do everything I was doing with that area anymore. Now it just sits there, weak and functionless. Why would you take away from me the very growth that shines with life and purpose?”
“Because, dear branch, that thick top growth was keeping the undergrowth from receiving the proper nutrients. Without that blockage, air and nutrients can circulate better. Now there’s no competition, and you can focus all your attention on proper, healthy growth.
Trust that when I remove something you find purpose in, it’s because My purpose for you right now is different. You may not understand and may feel weak, but this is a time of deep nutritional enrichment and strengthening.”
“Dear young branch, remember who I AM. I AM the Husbandman. I know everything about plants–every single little detail.
I know the kind of soil they need, and the amount of sun and water they need.
I know when stems need to be trimmed to encourage growth in other areas, and I know when to redirect existing growth in a new direction.
I know when to cut off diseased stems so they don’t infect the whole plant, and I know when to cut healthy, fruitful branches back so they produce even more fruit.
I also know when to cut down a plant’s growth to its basic parts. This may seem like removing the plant’s whole purpose, but in reality, I am allowing you to dig deeper into rich nutrients that will allow you to re-grow and become even stronger–perhaps not in the same way you thought, but in the perfect way that I have planned for you.
Trust in who I AM and that because of who I AM, I will always do what is best for you.”
“Forgive me, Mr. Husbandman, for doubting you. Please help me to trust in who you are and in the work of your hands in my life, even when I don’t understand. Even when it hurts. Help me to abide in you always.”
Inspired by John 15:2 and Hope When It Hurts by Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton.