"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." John 15:1-2
Some people wonder why life hurts. Some wonder why if they are a Christian things can at times be rough. Some feel that when tough times come they have been abandoned by God.
Look at the two verses up above. In these verses we see part of the metaphor of the vines and the branches. This is likely a familiar passage of Scripture. In this passage we can see a couple of things about tough times, or rather times when God seems to cut us.
The first is that God cuts branches off of Jesus that bear no fruit. If you are a worthless branch, a branch that is not abiding in the vine, God will cut you off. Some times when we feel tough times it's because we're a branch that hasn't produced fruit and God has cut us off from the life-giving power of Jesus. Is this form of cutting final in this life? I don't know. What I do know is that I want nothing to do with this kind of cutting. I'll stay connected to the vine if you don't mind.
The second group of times when God cuts us is when He is pruning. A master gardener prunes high producing branches because he/she knows how to make that branch even more effective. God is the same way. Some times He cuts us to make us more productive. Gardeners cut back branches to promote growth. God does, too. You may be a healthy, fruit producing branch and God will still cut you. You may be a rock star Christian in many aspects but you're too busy to maximize your fruit production, and God may cut something away from you. In pruning cutting is only done for the purpose of maximizing growth. If you are on the vine and yet still being cut, know that the Gardener is doing what's best for you. Know that the Gardener is cutting you because He sees a potential in you that you'll have to see to believe.
Everybody gets cut. The Christian walk is not a cake-walk. God will do what's best for your good and His glory. Above all make sure you're in a position to be pruned, not cut off, today.