Divine Pruning

On Sunday, the Lord sent a gorgeous preview of spring.   Given the unusually cold winter, we had a yard full of dried-up, sunburned, frozen weeds and twigs that were once a beautiful flower bed.   My husband got out to cut the grass, and I decided to get out back and trim all the deadness from our banana and umbrella trees.    It occurred to me why I rarely see a fat farmer (smile).    Unfortunately, with our schedule today, I got out too late to complete all of the work that needed doing.   So I promised myself that if we have similar weather this coming weekend,  I would get on my hands and knees and begin the restoration process.   Just thinking about it is draining, so I thought I’d share some pics in the hopes of being like David and encouraging myself.


Though I don’t always enjoy the work of maintaining a garden, I love the beauty of nature.   Moreover, I love the lessons that I often get from the work.   Today I couldn’t help but notice how much life was waiting to bloom if I could just cut off the dead weight.   That’s a mouthful.   As my pastor would say, “That’ll preach all by itself!”   So as I continued to cut, I was reminded of a scripture and a devotional that ministered to me years ago when my mother died:


Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit—John 15:2


The devotional was entitled “divine pruning,” and focused on how God will not only cut off unfruitful branches, but even the fruitful branches must be cut so that they bear even more fruit.  Wow.   I continued to trim, and the imagery was so powerful.   I had to cut off much of the tree—the Lord will build your faith by almost destroying it—but what remained was rich, green, and beautiful, like the tree planted by the water, which yields its fruit in season.


I was given so many lessons in so little time, like sitting down to a rich meal that leaves you satisfied and energized.   I will ponder upon my “sermon from nature” for the next few days and see where it leads me.   My actual dinner was a pot of “low-country boil”—a Dutch Oven full of shrimp, turkey sausage, corn, red potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and other seasonings boiled to perfection.   Afterward, the kids actually washed the dishes.   What a day.

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