Vines must be pruned. This looks like a cruel business. Perfectly good branches have to be lopped off in order for better branches to develop. It is a necessary business, for only the well-pruned vine bears the best fruit. The life of the vine is strengthened in one part by another part's being cut away. The rank growth has to go and then the sun reaches places it could not reach before. Pruning increases yield.
When we ask for the correction of our thoughts, and all the rest, we are asking that the life of the Lord Jesus flow freely in us and develop His graces in us. When it happens, we need to submit humbly, trusting the skill of the Gardener who prunes us with tenderness.
When a man or woman belong to God it is the hand of God at work when the pruning comes. A life's work --what to us is a perfectly good branch, perhaps the only "important" branch --may be cut off. The loss seems a terrible thing, a useless waste. But whose work was it? Jesus said God is the Gardener, the One who takes care of the vines. The hand of the Gardener holds the knife. It is His glory that is at stake when the best grapes are produced, so we need not think he has something personal against us, or has left us wholly to the mercy of His enemy Satan. He is always and forever for us.
So we let go our hold of things we held very dear. things that once were counted as gain we now count as loss, and out of what seems emptiness come beauty and richness. "Those who receive...God's grace, and his gift of righteousness, live and reign through the one man, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17). The branches "live and reign" through the Vine.
A Path Through Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot
I highly recommend this book! Get it today and finish this wonderful study!