By Mary Ellen Barrett



“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower, He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit.
And every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”
  ~ John 15:1-2

It’s the Pruning that Makes it Better

Any decent writer will tell you a good editor can take the final product from great to spectacular. However, that process is extremely painful. You submit something you’ve worked on, perhaps for a long time, put your heart and soul into, and done tons of research on, and it comes back somewhat lit up with the proverbial red pen. It can take your breath away, that feeling of rejection (it’s not rejection) or humiliation (it’s not that either). Then the final product is finished, and you know that the sacrifice of ego (that’s what it is) was worth it because your writing is now much better. Pruning is hard.  

And so, He keeps Pruning

These days feel like our branches are being pruned to stumps. Aside from any personal grief or suffering, the world seems intent on imploding itself. Anger, hatred, and vitriol are the norms by which many people live. We have also been through a few years of overwhelming suffering and loss, but it is important to remember that God is here in our adversity and pain. He is using this time to bear fruit to work within each of whom choose to use this time to abide in Him. There is such incredible hope in that. And we need the hope.

United with Him

I have never felt more united with Christ than in the days after my son died. Something about that soul-tearing suffering is where you can fully comprehend His love for you; it’s in those moments when you know that without Him, you can do nothing, and with Him, all suffering will bear fruit, and for me, that will be when I see my Ryan again.




Heavenly Father, I offer up my trials and grievances today for the sufferings of the world, particularly the poor and hungry.

Call to Action

Generously consider how you can show the fruit of God’s love to someone today. A smile to a stranger, a meal to someone in need, and a phone call to someone who might be lonely are all ways to share God’s love with others.


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