Sometimes progress means removing that which is dead. Our beloved redbud tree has seen a lifetime of rough mountain top seasons, high winds, icy cold winters, and red hot summers. Over the years these high winds have molded and twisted the tree just like a beautiful overgrown Banzai tree. Sadly however over time the weight of its limbs was too much for the little tree to bear. Until the larger limbs lowered all the way to the ground. Eventually one by one each limb split. Until the entire limb was rotten and hollowed out on the inside. But that little tree continued to expend its energy by putting out fresh new branches. In our hearts, we didn't want to cut off the living branches of the tree. But we knew that if we didn't the whole tree would die. To this day, we don't know how this tree is still alive. In one last attempt to save our beloved redbud tree, we cut off the heavy limbs that were touching the ground, and threw them into the fire. Does this remind you of a scripture verse? John 15:1-6 speaks of Jesus as the vine and His followers as the branches. And God is the farmer who trims and prunes.
Matthew 7:19 says: "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Even the limbs That do bear fruit are pruned so that they might bear more fruit.
Though these scriptures are in reference to the believers who are not being fruitful in the Kingdom, we have personally been encouraged lately to remove the material things in our lives that are not productive, the don't bear fruit. Even the stuff in our house that is just taking up useful space. This pruning process may be slow and tedious, but we have begun. What are you pruning today?