In the dark moments, it is tempting to read John 15:2 as if I am a dead fruitless branch that has been cut off and prepared for the burning pile. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
A branch that has been pruned and a branch that has been cut off go through similar circumstances. Both are cut and removed from the tree. However, the similarities end there. The purpose for cutting away a dead branch is to burn it. The purpose for cutting away a fruitful branch is to get rid of the sticks and leaves that get in the way of producing more fruit.
Painful–yes, ugly–yes. Fruitful?———–it will be.
I know my life has borne fruit in the past, and that branches that bear fruit are not cut off and burned. They are pruned. Not that God causes cancer or other bad circumstances, but He will certainly use these things as shears. So the question is what is God cutting away? I can think of several things that are experiencing the slice of a knife, and, frankly, I will be glad to be rid of them.