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“THAT HURT!”

Even children resent having to give up things.  When a parent seeks to take an object from the hand of a small child, there is great resistance on the part of that little person. They will grip more tightly, begin to use both hands to get a better grasp, push against the adult with their feet, and let their whole body weight pull against the adult to keep the object from changing hands. Quite a sight to behold!

The only difference with adults is that we hold on longer and sometimes seek to garner support from those around us to let a supervisor, employer, or official know that we have a group that is ready to resist what the ones in authority are about to remove.  We have often seen picket lines set up against companies by employees stating some unfair action that took away a previous benefit or salary.  Professional athletes go on strike as do umpires.  Sometimes, citizens parade over things that they don’t like about a society’s actions. No one wants to have something taken from them.

However, there are those things that happen to us in life that are beyond our control, very painful at the time, but become one of the greatest of all blessings in the years to come.  Losing a privilege, position, or a person that was a very close friend seems to be the most difficult thing that could have ever happened. But, in the years to come, we can see it was the hand of God at work to provide for us something better.  He knows what we need.  He “removes” what is not the best for us to continually provide for us the opportunity to grow in His grace.  Scripture compares that action of God to pruning of a plant.

Every branch that bears fruit must be pruned to bear much more fruit. Here is the story of man that has a good story about “pruning”.

I have a tomato plant that has been living for over two years now. Every winter the cold weather and heavy breeze kill more than half of the vines and leafs. If I don’t prune the dead, it will spread and kill the whole plant. Therefore, I must prune what is wilted to save the rest of the plant. In turn, the plant grows bigger, stronger, and bears more tomatoes than before. The tomatoes don’t only multiply, but they are much more pleasing in their flavor.

We must allow God to prune the wilted friends, habits, thoughts, and possessions out of our lives. By allowing this to happen, we will grow stronger and bear more fruit for the Kingdom of God. We will not only add to the Kingdom in quantity, but also in quality. The fruit we bear will be much more pleasing to God. Like David did, ask God to search your heart of any offense. David wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

Jesus said that His Father prunes His children. The richest, fullest, most fruitful lives are those that have been strengthened through the painful process of tribulation. We have no right to think God will use us until He cuts away whatever may hinder our growth. What we see as tragedies may be only blessings in disguise, and the very opportunities through which God chooses to exhibit His love and grace.

Has the dearest in life been torn from you? Have all your dreams faded? Remember that if you could see these problems from the standpoint of God’s wisdom and of eternity, you would be able to dry your eyes and praise the Lord for all of these. God will not withhold any good thing “from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). Even in your painful situation, you can trust Him to so what is best.  Christ cuts away the unusable only to make us more usable.  (Copied).