Originally published Tuesday, 16 June 2015.
The other day I was trimming my rose bushes. I had to choose to take time to do it and was glad I did. The bush was loaded with dead, spent blooms. The bush itself looked tired, but two weeks ago it was beautiful.
I got out my clippers and started to snip the dead blooms off. I clipped every one of them. Then I stood back and looked at them and thought about how much I took off. There were some deep cuts made on some of the branches.
The bushes themselves were alive and green, however there wasn't one bloom on either bush that was flanking my front porch. It looked a little bland from where I stood.
God always speaks to me through nature. In fact, I have discovered it is one of my spiritual pathways to hear clearly from Him. Standing there examining my handiwork I sensed His reminder of John 15:1-5.
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[a] 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. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
I then understood how the Father looks at our lives. He cleans and prunes us. And that's not fun or pretty is it? It often leaves us disappointed or angry. Many become upset with God and defiant. Practically speaking, no one enjoys the "cleaning or pruning" process. It often involves a deep cut to our lives.
But our Gardner only makes the necessary cuts that will bear MORE fruit. Every one has a little dead wood in their lives. We all do, but when God cleans out bushes, He prunes from His perspective and for our potential. He knows the dead and alive parts in us. There's no hiding from His clippers. There's only goodness and gentleness to bear as He shapes our lives.
Are you under God's mighty hand of pruning today? God just wants to have His way in you to shape the potential He sees in you. It's His way that brings you true identity by what you mean to Him. It's God's way of giving you His character.
So embrace the cuts, the thinning, the spreading of your branches. God only gives good things to us, not thorns.
Is it time you surrender your "bush" to the Lord so that he can bring you to a place of rest, in peace and contentment? Do you need to let Him heal you in a way that will allow you to bloom a new life with all new fruit? It's indeed a process and some days hard. It's not going to look the same, but it's going to be better, more fruitful, and more productive for the kingdom.
There is so much freedom ahead for you, and God wants to clean/prune you so that you can bear HIS fruit in your life, and share HIS fruit to others. Open wide your branches and let His healing clippers come in. You'll be glad you did.