“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NKJV
As a New Englander I don’t have much experience with grape vines. But I do remember that in the winter we used to prune apple trees.
First to go was the sucker growth. These long spindly sprouts looked healthy but in reality, suckers just stole strength from the better branches and in return yielded nothing but leaves.
Next we sought out the dead branches. Often these were hidden by the healthy ones and each part of the tree needed to be examined and have the dead wood cleared to open a pathway for sunlight and air.
Last of all we carefully cut away any diseased limbs. Fireblight was the usual culprit and could only be safely removed in the coldest season. That is why we chose winter so as not to spread it to the rest of the tree.
What remained behind waiting for spring was the good fruit bearing wood. To the casual observer the trees looked savagely treated. But the orchard owner could see the beautiful but still dormant fruit spurs just waiting for their chance to give the sweetest and most abundant harvest at the right time.
Without him we can do nothing. But pruned and shaped to the master’s design he promises we will one day yield a mighty harvest!