by Barri Cae Mallin


Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch
that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

~ John 15:2 ~

One of my most favorite college classes was on the subject of Floriculture. This became my favorite class as it centered on plants. Although it was considered a ‘fluff’ class, it is one of the few classes that I took in college, the content of which I still remember.

I learned that there was such a thing as plant physiology. Plants need carbon dioxide to photosynthesize, to grow. People expel carbon dioxide so it is a good fit to have houseplants and greenery in one’s environment. It illustrates a beautiful life cycle of God.

Over the years, I have grown many plants and have learned which plants do best in the given climate. The summer is a great time as plants grow lush outside. Perhaps that is why so many of us love yard work, as we actually see the fruit of our labor come to pass right in front of our eyes. Trees newly planted grow buds; roses bloom; bushes grow full.

Since it is now winter, some plants need pruning. All one needs to do is Google the word for pruning and many thousands of results appear. But I never knew what a plant endured when pruned. There are so many interesting facts about the physiology of plants when they are pruned. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Yeshua Jesus brought forth these beautiful words in the fifteenth chapter of John.

Don Julien, a rose expert noted that the first step to pruning is called ‘wound healing’. The wound from the severed branch seals itself. Cells harden over the wound immediately but healing can take weeks, depending on the external elements of weather, water and food.

Timing of pruning is important. Pruning must occur at the optimum time for the plant to allow for shock, healing and then growth to occur. Pruning requires specific tools; roses must be pruned differently than tree branches. The optimum cut is required. Knowing where to prune is also of prime importance, as unproductive growth is not beneficial to the plant. Certain plants must be pruned to a specific size. There is an art to pruning. Location pruning is a science as well. Some plants require bud pruning; other plants require cane pruning; yet others require root pruning. The master gardener knows exactly what each plant needs to bring forth optimum growth

Many of us like to bear fruit; we love the seasons where it seems as though God is shining upon us; He is bringing forth fruit in our lives. Exciting times in the LORD. Yet, for us to grow in our walk with the LORD, we must be pruned. Sometimes pruning can be in the order of affliction, loss or pain. Sometimes pruning takes place within a fruitful place of our ministry, yet God allows the pruning. We cannot be apart from the vine; we must abide in this vine to bear fruit, yet the branch is pruned; our fruit is pruned; it is painful.

The vine needs branches to bring forth fruit yet in order to get a greater harvest, more fruit, the branch must be pruned. The branch has to give up its total purpose of bearing fruit for a season. The process of pruning must occur. The branch must surrender its total purpose to the vinedresser.

The Master Vinedresser, God, knows exactly how to prune our character. He has the perfect tool to make the perfect cut to bring forth the greatest harvest. This is not easy; this involves pain. Will the plant allow the vinedresser to conform it? Will we allow the Master Vinedresser to conform us to Messiah Yeshua Jesus?

Just as plants need time to heal from pruning, so do we. Our private life must die; we must come to an end of ourselves, our plans, our ministries and our lives. We must trust the Master Vinedresser and know, REALLY KNOW that He knows what He is doing.

Time passes. Sometimes healing must occur in the dark, in the soil, after heaps of manure have been piled on us. Even though the manure is not pleasant, manure makes things grow. Thank God for the poopoo, the yucky days, the yucky drivers, the yucky stuff. It will bring forth beautiful fruit.

Then silently, quietly, assuredly, new growth appears. Beauty comes forth like NEVER before. The Master Vinedresser knew all the time! All of the pain for GREATER GROWTH, GREATER USE FOR THE VINEDRESSER, GREATER FRUIT.

The Greek word for branch is klema, and it denotes a tender and flexible branch. O that we would be tender and flexible in the hands of our Master Vinedresser, fully yielding to His divine pruning. As painful as it may be, more fruit will come, as Yeshua promises:

I am the vine, you are the branches;

he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit. . . .

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit;

so you will be My disciples. As the Father

loved Me, I also have loved you;

Abide in My love.

~ John 15:5, 8-9 ~


Barri Cae Mallin holds a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from
Trinity Theological Seminary.
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Barri Cae may be found at
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