I have a few rose bushes I love watching bloom. My carpet roses take off this time of the year, but my most mature rose bushes are having a hard time this season. They are growing like crazy with tall stems and beautiful leaves but they aren't producing any roses. Although I don't like to prune in the hot summer months, it looks like I may have to do it to get them revived again.
We can have the outward appearance of being a mature Christian as we "look" the part. But maybe we haven't been tested to the point of it being evidently clear that we are or we haven't grown in our faith. We seem to know all of the answers but it's time for some growing to take place. James 1:3-4 says, "the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete.." By the time the disciples wrote their epistles, they had learned to see every trial as a chance to perfect their trust in the Lord and multiply their effectiveness for Him.
God's pruning will intensify as His "shears" cut closer to the core of who you are. But God isn't trying to take anything away; He's trying to make room to add strength, productivity and spiriual power in your life. His goal is to bring you closer to the "mature and complete" image of Christ.
Pruning isn't fun and it often times removes things I thought were important, but I grow stronger every time I'm pruned and unessential parts are removed.
I don't know about you, but I welcome His pruning shears!