Hi Everyone – This is Yaacov with an update on Erin. The surgery went well yesterday and the doctors said things went according to plan. Erin’s had a good deal of nausea thus far, but her spirits are high regardless. She’ll likely be there through tomorrow at the very earliest, so prayers would still be appreciated that she regains her strength and mobility soon.
Throughout this process, I’ve been consistently drawn to John 15:1-2, which states, “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.” This simple gardening truth rings as true today as it did when Jesus said these words. The illustration was a concrete reminder to His audience that those who are to grow in Him need pain, trials, and pruning in order. Given the choice, a branch would not ask to be cut, and would likely be content with its production. It’s the gardener that knows what each branch needs in order to be most effective for the master. In the same way, we would certainly not ask for our daily struggles, and we often ask for them to be taken away; but it is He that knows what we need to bear our fruit for Him.
Though Erin’s trials have tugged at my heart, as yours, and it’s painful to see a loved one go through such incredibly hard circumstances, I have seen first hand the fruit she has born. The ministry and testimony that is now hers would not have otherwise been possible, and I consider myself blessed to be a supporter of my wife.
I’m reminded that Jesus’ words in this passage paint a picture of duality such that the Father prunes and allows us pain, but also that He is near. A garderner is never as close to its branches as when it’s carefully pruning.