There is more to growing your own garden than many newbies know. I remember getting a couple of raspberry bush starts and planing them next to my house in the spring of the year. I thought about all the jelly, pies and other baked treats I could make at the end of the summer from them. The problem was, they weren’t bearing fruit that first summer. Had I done my research, I would have known they didn’t bear fruit for 1–2 years. More importantly, had I known how to care for these raspberry plants properly, they would not have died after bleeding to death by a violent weed wacker massacre.
Bearing Fruit Is An Action
Successful gardening requires active participation, not passive participation. My friend Todd was telling me how he failed for many years growing blackberries. Nothing seemed to work, they really never bore much fruit. He then decided to give it one last ditch effort and approach caring for his blackberries in a different manner. He began to go into great detail how he had to meticulously pinch each flowery bloom. Even though it almost hurt him to do it, he was really executing a micro pruning. The result was the most blackberries he had ever picked. I immediately began to think on John 15.
““I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.” John 15:1–4 MSG
Pruning to Produce
The fruit comes from the flower or bloom, to think about pinching it or pruning it seems counter intuitive. But the passage in John 15 affirms this as a necessary task to bear more fruit. As humans we often look at fruit only. Maybe its because we live in a performance based culture. At the first signs of fruit, we begin to think we’ve finally made it. We may not understand horticulture or why God prunes when he does. But we can rest in knowing that the Great Master Gardener knows what he is doing.