For what feels like most of my life, I have had this struggle with my hair. My desire is for it to grow long, but in the past several years, every beautician I have seen has recommended that I cut it. There has been so much damage and mistreatment of my hair, the best option was to chop it off and regrow it. I resisted because I did not understand how cutting it off would help it grow longer. I did not want to let go, so I held on to my damaged hair which still refused to grow.
Once I was meditating on John 15 (“The Vine and the branches”), and I realized something: God, the vine dresser, takes away the branches that do not bear fruit. He prunes the branches that do, so that they may bear more fruit. My habit was to use this verse as a plea for God to prune me so that I become a branch that does bear fruit. But the very fact that He prunes me shows that I already bear fruit and He sees the potential in me for more. What an honor it is, for the vine dresser to prune me!
Our society so easily discards things we consider insufficient. But Our Father is not like that. He says, “I delight in you. I see the fruit you bear. That’s why I prune you. Because you were made for so much more.” Even if He sees one pathetically tiny piece of fruit barely hanging on from that branch that I am, He still delights in me. He sees not that I have barely produced anything. He only sees the capacity He has in me. It is not about my faults and failures because He declares that I am already clean because of the word which has spoken to me. It’s not about me. The star of the vine is the Vine: Jesus. It’s about God, the vine dresser. His desire to grow us, use us, and have us to Himself. Though that love involves us, it isn’t about us. Submitting to pruning is simply an act of receiving His great love for us.
So a couple of weeks ago, I sat in the stylist’s chair. A year and a half ago, I argued with her about how I did NOT want my hair cut (even though she offered to simply trim it). I said, reluctantly, I’m ready to cut it. I watched the dry, split ends fall to my shoulders. A part of me was dying inside. At the end, my hair was more beautiful than I would’ve imagined it would be short. And it looked so healthy. I was grateful for putting trust in her.
How much more trust should I place in my God who knows what is and isn’t good for me? What are you holding that may need to be let go, even if only for a season? I challenge you to be open to pruning when the time comes. Because the result is always worth it.