Yard work occupies much of our time these days, trying to make up for the years when we neglected the garden because of homeschooling or babies or travel. I meant to prune our roses in February or March but it just didn’t work out. And now I need to do it before things get out of hand, even though it’s later in the season than is desirable.
It’s fortunate that my Master Gardener isn’t anything like me. He knows exactly the right time to prune, and He does it without hesitation or apology.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.” – John 15:1-8, RSVCE
He has the vision, though I’m not always ready for what He wants to do with me. I get attached to my branches. Look, Lord, I even grew a few blossoms and fruits. With my limited view, I see some of these branches drooping or even dead, but the comfort of the familiar makes me want things to stay the way they are.
I sometimes look around at all the plants around me and try to direct Him, how about that one, Lord, don’t You think *he* needs pruning? How about You work on him first? It’s always easier to say that than to look at myself. But we don’t all get pruned at the same time, and it’s my turn. As He is the Master Gardener, He is also the Vine. He knows when and how to give me the nourishment I need, so that I’m able to produce greater fruit.
Pruning hurts, and so I dread pruning time. Every season, I whine, why does this process have to happen again? Could we put it off ’til next season? Sometimes I refuse to submit to His pruning, only to find that I’m not being as fruitful as I should be.
From year to year, and especially in the dead of winter, I don’t know how spring will be. Only He knows how much rain or sun is coming. All I can think of when being pruned is the agonizing wait for regrowth to happen. I forget that in response, the courage and humility I found difficult to summon up in the beginning, regrow in even greater abundance.
Ultimately, I want to be disease-free, to bear fruit, to be beautiful. I want the end result, but I shy away from the pain of His pruning shears.
I may not have a clear picture of God’s plans for Me, but I do have a clear picture of Who my God is. And I’ve been through enough to know that although I can achieve some semblance of beauty on my own, it takes the Master’s Hand to produce something glorious and worthy of His gaze.