A few years ago someone who used to be in my family had a severe accident while cutting down a tree. Somehow the tree fell and crushed his whole hand injuring all his fingers except for his thumb. It was a horrible experience for him and his family. The medical team tried everything they could think of to save his fingers. One thing they tried was to sew his hand inside his stomach. They cut through several layers of skin, inserted his hand, and sewed up around it. Unfortunately, this didn’t work as there was no blood flow to the fingers anymore.
I don’t know how many surgeries he ended up having, but eventually nothing was left but his pinky finger, his thumb, and a stub where his other fingers used to be.
In John 15 Jesus says He is the vine, God is the gardener, and we are the branches. As the branches, we get pruned, perhaps one thing at a time or many things coming at us to make our faith stronger. That is what pruning is supposed to do.
We rely on our Gardner to help us stay connected to the Vine. We have to stay or else we will die and produce no fruit.
Like my former family member whose fingers were cut off because they were no longer connected to any blood flow, we have to be in Jesus and have His blood flow over and in us to give us life eternal.