A faithful minister of the Gospel called one day, to visit a member of his church, who had lately met with a great trial, and was very impatient under it, and complained of being hardly dealt with. On reaching the house of his friend, the servant said that her master was working in the garden. On going there, the minister found his friend engaged in trimming a vine, the leaves and branches of which had grown too thick and close. After a few kind words spoken to him, the minister asked him what he was doing.
“I find,” said he, “that owing to the late rains, the branches and leaves of this vine have grown so much, as to prevent the rays of the sun from reaching and ripening the grapes. So I am pruning the vine and taking away these leaves, that the rays of the sun may be able to reach and ripen the grapes that are growing upon it.”
“Very good,” said the minister; “and now, my friend,” he went on to say, “don’t you know that we Christians are all vines in God’s garden? And that when He sends trials or afflictions upon us, as He has lately done to you, He is only doing for us just what you are doing for that vine. He is pruning us, and taking away unnecessary leaves in order that the fruits of the Spirit may ripen better in our hearts and lives.”
“Thank you, sir, for this lesson,” said the minister’s friend. “I never thought of that before. And now I won’t complain of God’s dealings with me any more.”