I sit outside early in the morning. A slight chill lingers, but not enough for a jacket. A breeze circulates the scent of the jasmine and rosemary bushes from across the wall. The birds sing and chatter in the trees in my front yard. The sky turns from deep purple to gold to burnt orange as the sun makes its grand appearance over the mountains. A brand new Spring day has arrived!
Spring makes me think of gardens and gardens make me think of the Master Gardener—God.
The Bible has many references to gardens. There’s the garden of Eden, the garden of Gethsemane, the garden of the tomb, the garden described in Revelation–to name a few.
God does some of His best work in the gardens of our lives turning sin, disorder and barrenness to beauty and fruitfulness. Jesus often referenced seeds, soil, sowing, and other agricultural topics, all of which carry rich meaning in the context of human lives.
I love and admire gardens, but I do not consider myself a gardener. In fact, I think I have a black thumb. However, God taught me a lesson using the rose bushes in my yard that bloomed the most lovely long stem roses. Neighbors and family would remark at their beauty. The thing is, I never intended for them to be long stem roses. I just never pruned them. Honestly, I didn’t know about pruning at the time.
As each month passed, the roses bushes grew larger and taller until they were higher than my fence! That’s when I began to notice that some of the flower buds were not turning to roses. These deformed buds turned hard like a crab apple and never produced a flower. Then there were the aphids and the weeds. The rose garden was a mess—kind of like me on the inside where only the Lord could see.
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” John 15:1-2
God paralleled those unruly and unhealthy rose bushes to festering anger that had turned to bitterness in my life. The Master Gardener was at work, pruning away that which didn’t produce fruit. It was uncomfortable and quite frankly, I was not very happy about it. And I told Him so.
God’s response to me was, “My daughter, I’m not nearly as concerned about your comfort as I am your growth and my glory.”
When we fuss, complain, and sometimes even run from God’s pruning, we are only prolonging the process.
Our heavenly Father loves a flourishing garden and will do what is necessary to achieve fruitfulness. But for this work to be fruitful, we must remain attached to the vine of Jesus.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. “ John 15:5
We will not produce anything of value without Jesus. Things of value require consistent effort and cooperation.
Pruning is painful.
Pruning is difficult.
Pruning is necessary for growth.
“When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” John 15:8
Are you cooperating or resisting God’s pruning? Are you producing the fruit of a true disciple?
Please take a moment to ask the Lord.
WHAT'S IN YOUR GARDEN? "When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father." John 15:8
— Beckie Lindsey (@BeckieLindsey_) May 16, 2016
This post is linked to:
Hi Becky! I’m your neighbor over at #MomentsOfHope. Great post here! “I’m not nearly as concerned about your comfort as I am your growth and my glory.” That spoke to me! God is definitely pruning me and honestly it’s painful and I’m sort of rebelling. It’s hard to be pruned! Thank you for the encouragement today!
Shannon, Thanks for taking the time to comment. It’s tough to be pruned, but worth it! I’m praying for you, sister.
Yes, pruning is difficult and can be so painful. But we must allow the Lord to be at HIs work. He knows what is best for our spiritual growth.
Thanks Martha! Blessing to you too.
Wow I love this thanks for sharing
You’re so welcome and thanks for commenting. Blessings to you and yours.
Dear Beckie ~ I love gardens as well, but like you, don’t consider myself a gardener :). Thank you for these applicable thoughts concerning God’s pruning of us on the inside. I’m so thankful for His faithful work in me.
So glad we’ve connected as sisters in Christ who love to write.
In His Love,
Emily, Thanks a ton! Blessings!
It’s interesting how God uses even our plants to teach us. Pruning is never fun, but necessary. Thanks for sharing at #LMMLinkup! Blessings to you.
Gayl, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate the encouragement.
You may enjoy my short story Parachutes Upon the Wind.
This is a wonderful story. I was pulled in from the first few lines. Thanks for suggesting it. One of the most enchanting short stories I’ve read in awhile. Have published your writing?
Thank you! I thought it might strike a chord based on your gardening post. No, I have not even tried to publish anything. But I do have several short stories posted if you want to check them out–there is a “short story” category on my menu.
You and I have the same thumb! 🙂 I can’t seem to remember to water anything, so if it isn’t hooked up to an automated sprinkler system, it isn’t good! Pruning is often painful, isn’t it? Painful, but as you said, so necessary! And so life-giving! I love the beauty of your writing and admire your heart to share Jesus. The hope you share makes a difference! Thank you for sharing that hope with me at Moments of Hope!
Blessings and smiles,
Lori, It’s an honor to serve God in writing.Thanks for creating a space for others to share on your blog. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Blessings!
Beautiful analogies! My children memorized John 15:1-12 in their homeschooling group one year, and I am so glad they did. We review it often. Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup.
Going through that pruning process, right now! No ma’am, it is not a happy process, rather, humbling and painful. But, God! Very good read, Beckie. Thanks for sharing. May God continue to bless your, write life!
“When we fuss, complain, and sometimes even run from God’s pruning, we are only prolonging the process.” Oh man, I don’t want to prolong the process! May we accept the pruning God wants to do WHEN He wants to do it.
Thanks for sharing at The Loft.
Jerralea, Thanks for the encouragement. I’m honored to share.
I loved this. Thanks for sharing – thanks for sharing at The Loft.
A few years ago, every time I entered the Secret Place, the Lord directed me to that verse. Over and over again for a month. I had a problem with the pruning. The cutting away just absolutely scared me. That was until I went to a vineyard and asked the gardener why he had to cut the branches so much and tie them so close to the vine.
He said, “Well, to tell the truth, grape branches have a tendency to grow toward the ground and need to be lifted up so I cut the branches and tie them up. I do this because the fruit closer to the vine is purer and sweeter too.”
So! I’m no longer scared. I say, “Prune me, Lord. Prune me. Blessings, Chris
Chris, What a lovely true story of how pruning is done in the vineyard. I love it! Thanks for sharing. Blessings.
The pruning God does in us is uncomfortable, for sure, but so worth it! Visiting from The Loft Linkup.
Laura, Thanks for reading and commenting. Blessings!