Pruning

As it begins to turn colder, we have all the fall yard work to do.  I’m sure you have leaves covering your lawn only minutes after you have raked every leaf into a bag – just like we do.  We also have hoses to take down, toys to put away for the winter, and a few bushes to prune back.  My roses in particular need to be cut back for the winter.  I tend to cut them back pretty severely because it always pruningseems to help the roses come back stronger in the spring time.  Contemplating what we have to do to winterize the outside of our home, it occurred to me that sometimes God does the same to us.

We can experience times in our lives where we may be distracted from our vocation or from God’s will.  We may be busied by other activities and obligations.  Things that we think we need to do tend to creep up on the priority list where they may not belong.  But God is able to gently turn our attention back toward him – with a little pruning.  Maybe it is something as simple as coming to the end of a sporting season.  I know that we are entering that comfortable lull between sporting seasons where we tend to have more free time – both during the week, due to no practices and during the weekends with no games to go to.  But other times, the pruning may feel more severe – something we thought we were supposed to be doing is suddenly taken away from us – like a school obligation is not needed anymore, a close friend moves away, or a child gets sick.  And these events cause us to redirect our lives.  After prayerful contemplation, we are able to reprioritize and attain clarity.  Seeking direction for our lives through God’s will once again becomes our main goal.   Our prayer life is enriched, our devotion to our family is strengthened, or we feel more uplifted and supported than we did before.

And like the pruning of roses in fall, we too are pruned so that we are ready for a harsh winter – perhaps it is just a difficult transition with the birth of a new baby or a new stage of development for your kids.  But it is that pruning by our Gardener that allows us to survive the winter.  He cares for us, fertilizes our souls, cuts back the dead parts in our lives.

And when spring comes anew, like the flowers budding, we can find new strength and we can blossom even more beautifully with our roots more firmly grounded in our faith.  With God giving us the living water and feeding us with himself, we can bloom into rich colors that we may not have attained without cutting back extraneous parts in our lives.  The pruning itself may hurt at the time, but we have to trust that with God’s tender care, He will never let us be far from Him and He will bless us with his loving grace. rose

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