“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.” -John 15:1-2 (NIV)

Today I worked on a photograph collection stored on my computer.  As I cropped a photograph of a mother and her baby, cutting away the dark corners and unnecessary objects in the background, the subjects of my picture came into sharper focus.  As a result, the mother and baby no longer appeared distant but suddenly sprang to life.  I felt I could reach out and touch them!
The process of cropping photographs reminds me of God’s pruning.  When God prunes, He does not cut away our essence but the darkness of sin and those things that hinder us from living the full life that He has intended for us.  When we resist God’s pruning, our lives get blurry and we get lost in the shadows of our own ambitions.  When we yield to God’s pruning, we see more clearly where God is leading us and how God is shaping us.
Dear God, help us not to resist your Spirit as you prune back things that keep us from bearing fruit. Shape us to bear even more fruit and we give you all the glory! Amen.