Pruning Jam

I love gooseberry jam. I hate gooseberry bushes. The shrubs have vicious thorns and at this time of year need pruning. Even with heavy gloves, the thick thorns poke through as to try to keep me from doing my job. Old, gnarly canes along with those which are too low to the ground and those who touch others have to get cut. After taking the prickly branches out, I usually have to spent time taking thorns out of my hands.

Today, while in the kitchen nursing my sores, I wondered if I (like my gooseberry bushes) give God that much trouble when He prunes things out of my life. I can get rather prickly when it comes to God taking things.

God is the Master Gardener and Vinedresser. He knows what has to go – what can stay. Sometimes His pruning seems senseless, especially when he takes things that took time to grow.  Sometimes it’s a wrong idea I have lived with for a long time. Sometimes it has been comfort and security. Often it has been prideful reliance on me rather than Jesus.

“Father, help me to surrender my stubborn will to your loving care, your discipline, and your pruning. Help me to abide in Jesus and in the Truth of your Word. Show me how to give you willingly what you don’t desire for me to keep and trust that you have fruit in mind which I cannot yet see.” 

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Jesus in John 15:1-5 (ESV)

13 responses to “Pruning Jam”

  1. Dear Heidi, thank you. In every age and every stage, we need the reminder that we are seasonal creatures. As part of His vineyard, only He knows when and where to prune, how much needs to go to leave room for the fruit He desires. Blessings as He continues to produce His fruit in you. 🙂


    1. Dear Frances, blessings to you as well. I am praying we will always be willing to let Him do His pruning work in us 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Heidi. God’s pruning is a difficult and life-long process. He is preparing us to be Holy and spotless. He’s preparing us for a wedding feast. I can’t wait.
    Before picking the berries, maybe you should cut off the thorns 🙂


    1. You and Mary have been on my mind (and in my prayers) all morning … You certainly have been through the brier patch and back a few times.
      Scott got tired of my whining and bought me some super large pruning sheers. I got way too excited and lopped off a ton of branches (which Scott then picked up and threw in the burn pile … what a guy). Someone said, “You can’t prune a gooseberry too much!” … Well, we will see! I will continue this story in July … when I will start my blog with “… and here is the rest of the story…”
      🙂 Send my love to Mary!!!


      1. You’re funny, Heidi 🙂 We have five blackberry bushes and the grandkids love picking them and eating them with Nonnie (Mary).


  3. Heidi, you must REALLY love gooseberries to put yourself in harm’s way of those bushes! But what a glorious lesson you discovered among the thorns. With you I pray for God’s help to surrender my stubborn will! (P.S. This is an especially appropriate devotional for me–I’m in the process of memorizing John 15:1-17!)


    1. I am so grateful it spoke to you while you are memorizing the Word!!! Yesterday, my husband bought me one of those long trimmers. I suppose he got tired of my whinzing … May we always allow God to trim those hard to reach places … way in deep in our hearts 🙂 Sending love your way, friend!


  4. Thank you Heidi, for helping me have more of a peace about the things that are taken away, that I may not understand at the time! Really beautiful! Blessings and love!


    1. Thank you, dear Debbie, for always encouraging me with your kind words. He is trustworthy when it comes to pruning … every year I think I butchered my shrubs, wondering if I took too much … but each summer it amazes me that so much fruit comes despite the all the branches that were taken … may it be like that with us, friend!!! Much love 🙂


  5. Beautiful words to ponder….. Thank you.


    1. Thank you for reading, friend … and your friendship … and MANY prayers 🙂


  6. Thank you for this nice reminder. I need to keep abiding in Jesus! Prunning isnt a once and done forever kinda thing! Its something that takes place every year and sometimes even more. I dont know how i let things in that need pruned and i do need it. Nomatter how much it hurts. I am greatful the MASTER GARDENER still see something in me and hasnt given up yet! Guess i still have room to grow and HE knows something beautiful still to come.


    1. Thank you, Wendy for reading. While I was pulling thorns out of my thumb and other places, I wanted to cry and felt ashamed how often I put up a fight while God is trying to prune me. I had to think of Jesus who took those thrones for me … What love … and incompressible kindness.


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