Spring has finally arrived in Central New York!
That means along with the warmer temperatures comes pleasant outside work (translated no snow involved!!) and digging in the dirt to beautify our yard and flower beds. It’s not always easy work, but I love the challenge of helping our surroundings wake up from the winter slumber and break into color.
Sometimes it’s also not easy psychologically or emotionally. (stay with me…I’m not losing it) For example, we have a clematis bush that we enjoy so much every year. Every year it boasts beautiful purple and blue flowers that climb up the back of our garage. But before it can bloom it needs to be pruned.
Today was the day. You’ll see in the photo that new growth has already begun but the old, dead vine was still there. If the new growth continued to grow in the midst of the dead some of it would get choked out and the vine would not mature to all it could be. The dead parts would prevent the plant from being the best it could be.
For me it’s not easy because sometimes there’s some new growth that has to be pruned along with the old. I feel badly that we have to get rid of some branches so that the whole plant can benefit.
The same is true for newly planted flowers. When they come home from the greenhouse they have beautiful blossoms and buds covering them. I want to get them in the ground and create a colorful bed. But, if the blooms are left on these newly planted gems they will grow to be tall and straggly and will not spread out, filling in for a lush flower bed. The plant will have to spend so much energy feeding the blooms they will not feed the roots.
When the blooms and some buds are nipped after planting the plant will give its attention to feeding the roots, spreading out and providing lush ground cover and gorgeous, colorful flowers.
Jesus tells us:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you.No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15: 1-4
The truths that apply to the flowers also apply to our lives. We must allow God to prune away deadness from our lives before we can produce what He desires from us.
I know in my life there have been areas where I have burst forth quickly with a grand plan or ambition only to fizzle out because I didn’t continuously allow God to get rid of what wasn’t His plan in order to produce something even better. I feared losing my dream completely, not having enough faith follow His vision.
It can be painful to watch some of our old hopes and dreams be clipped away, believing that God will produce in us even greater things than we can imagine. It is the ultimate test of our faith in Him.
In a few weeks the vine of our clematis will cover a good portion of our garage wall and produce beautiful blooms once again.
The blooms wouldn’t be the same without tonight’s pruning.
I pray for you tonight as I do for myself, that you would examine areas of your life where you have not trusted God’s pruning and have depended on your own abilities. Then step out in faith and allow Him to prune, pull away and nip in the bud things that aren’t in His plan.
Then watch in wonder as He produces something more grand than you ever thought could be inside of you.
blessings and peace to you!