A friend of ours writes from the Land of Israel as he volunteers to prune grapes there for the farmers. I thought his reflections were worth sharing to encourage you all in your parenting as you raise up your children to walk in Yah's ways. Also take heed to how Yah continues to prune us as adults - as mature vines that SHOULD be heavy with fruit! This is the case when we have gone through MANY seasons of pruning. So if you see someone who's life is full of fruit - do not think they got there quickly or easily - rather they got there becasue they have allowed the Great Vinedresser to prune them season after season after season!! Enjoy ~
Shalom from Eretz Yisrael! Peace from The Land of Israel!
As most of you know, the stated purpose of this trip to Israel is to prune grapevines for the vineyard owners in Judea & Samaria. I'd like to share some experiences I have had pruning...
If a vineyard owner fails to prune his grapevines for even one year, those vines will not produce well at all. It would be irresponsible for a farmer to not prune his vines. In the same way our Father prunes us so we will produce fruit.
Pruning vines reminds me that as parents, we must "prune" our children. One of the vineyard owners told us if the vines do not get pruned, they will grow wild. We have all seen the devastating effects of undisciplined children and adults who have had no boundaries. Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it."
Pruning grapevines looks as if you're killing them. It does not kill them, and in fact it strengthens them. Are we any different than grapevines? As God prunes us, we become stronger. Despite how it may seem, the pruning will not harm us, and we will not produce much fruit without Him pruning us. "Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul from Sheol." Proverbs 23:13-14.
Pruning is difficult - on the vines, and on the pruner. It's not an easy thing for the plant to yield itself to the pruner, just as it is sometimes difficult for us to yield ourselves to our Father.
John 15:1-11, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you will keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."
Different varieties of grapevines must be pruned in different ways. In the same way, it's easy for us to think that God needs to prune our brothers and sisters the same way He prunes us. That's just not the case. We are different varieties, and so we must be pruned differently. "There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?" James 4:12.
We pruned one morning after it rained through the night. The vines were soft and easier to prune. We need to be soft and moldable so we can be more easily pruned, and so it won't be so painful.
"You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, 'My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of YHVH, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom YHVH loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He loves.' It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." Hebrews 12:4-11
May we welcome our Father's pruning in our lives that we may bear much fruit for His Kingdom!
Until next time, check out www.preparationforrestoration.weebly.com. Thank you to those have generously contributed to our mission, and to those of you who are standing with us in prayer.
Many blessings and peace from Israel!