Bet you thought this blog would be about beer, right? Not a chance, but at least it got your attention. I have another "bud" in mind.
For many months I have prayed that God would take me deeper in my walk with Him, knowing that as a result of those prayers I might experience some pain along the way. Generally I grow more when I am challenged somehow.
As I come to the end of another work week and contemplate the reasons why I suddenly seem so busy, it dawns on me that God is answering my prayers. He is taking me to a deeper place of intimacy with Him and in the process of doing so, pruning me for more fruitfulness.
In John 15:2, we read that God prunes the vines (His followers) that bear fruit in order that they may bear more fruit. Pruning involves sheers. Sheers inflict pain, or at least a little discomfort, right? While I may have stepped out of my comfort zone, biting off more than I can chew perhaps, buds are beginning to appear on the vine and the prospect of bearing more fruit -- of making a difference in the lives of others -- suddenly makes it all worthwhile.
If you are experiencing the sensation of being a little overwhelmed right now, consider whether God might be pruning you for more fruitfulness. Pray your way through the pruning. "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).
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