Pruning grapevines. One of my favorite winter activities. It wasn't on my to-do list today, but just couldn't wait. The grapes are outside my workroom windows and without those messy branches I have a clearer view of the woods and beyond. Pruning is a lot like cleaning out files: it feels good to have things cleaned up.
This all reminds me of Jesus comparing himself to a vine and us to its branches (John 15). He said the heavenly Father is the vinedresser who prunes the branches so that they give more fruit. While pruning today, I asked myself what are some of the things the Father has pruned out of my life so that his word is more alive in me.
One important thing is quickness to take offense—that is, to feel "hurt" when criticized. Another—although this could use more pruning—is readiness to argue to prove myself right. Also, the desire to be recognized has felt the pruning knife, although that, too, is not entirely gone. The Father is patient.