The Holy Spirit often speaks to me in metaphors throughout my everyday. I like to think of it as our own little personal language and way of communicating. Recently, while taking a walk with my daughter at the tail end of the summer, I noticed my window boxes had some dead flowers that needed to be pruned. 

Immediately, I felt the Holy Spirit gently speak, “In order for the new to grow, the dead has to be pruned.” It hit me in that moment—this was not just a commandment, this was an invitation. One of the things I love about God’s character is that he is a gentleman and craves our authenticity. He very well could have forced us into love and relationship with him; instead, he gave us free will. Why? Because I believe he desires our genuine heart and our yes. 

John 15 talks very directly about God being the gardener and pruning: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit” (John 15:1–2 ESV).

I can’t help but wonder how many things are waiting to spring forth in my life but are held back because the dead are still there. How easy and comfortable it can become to have the dead stay, because pruning takes work and our fervent yes.

But what would our lives look like if we not only said yes to God in the pruning, but partnered with him in the pruning so that newness could grow in its place? What fruit could come from that? I’ve noticed how easy it can be to take a back seat and expect God to do the work. 

We come with prayers and requests, pleading for him to move and do work in our lives. But I believe there is an invitation for us to move with him. For us to get our hands in the dirt and do the work as well. That’s where the fruit comes. I believe God wants that same intimacy and partnership with us. 

While the seasons come and go and the pruning becomes evident, we have a choice. Are we going to partner with him so that our lives can bear fruit? Or are we going to sit in comfortability with the dead? I truly believe this is one of those deep levels of intimacy with the Lord that we have access to by his design, to partner with him in the pruning. All he needs is our yes.

A testimony of beauty from ashes, Morgan Dufault is a proud wife, crunchy mama, artist, and professional Ennegram 6 living in the sticks of Minnesota. @sheisofthesea


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