A few weeks ago I was coming home from a typical Day-In-The-Life of a busy workin’, servin’, playin’ Mamma. You know how it goes:
Kids outta bed and ready ✅
Feed little tummies with at least an Eggo ✅
School barely on time ✅
Job in youth ministry ✅
Bible study group ✅
Grocery store ✅
Hustle at-home business ✅
“I love you” text to Hubby ✅
More coffee ✅
Pick up kids from school ✅
Marco Polo with Soul Friends ✅
“Oops” forgot to eat lunch ✅
Arrive home at 6:15 and start to think about what’s for dinner ✅
Catch up on eight episodes of The Voice ✅
Keep my head on straight ✅
Aaaaaah! So much going on! I arrive home, add “take out the trash” to my list – and stopped dead in my tracks in my back yard. SHRRRRIIIEEEK! My gardeners (#first-world problems) BUTCHERED my rose bushes. What in the world? They were SO ugly! Mangled. Destroyed. Chopped up like an onion going into a crock pot dish. There wasn’t a shred of petals or leaves or even branches left. I couldn’t believe it. Why would they do that? They are clearly not arborists (like my amazing husband) and they obviously didn’t specialize in rose-ology! I was frustrated. I planned on giving them a call to share a piece of my mind, but alas, I had to figure out dinner ✅.
Fast forward a couple of weeks later. My husband and I were lucky enough to go on an eight day vacation to celebrate our upcoming ten year anniversary! We went to Jamaica and had The. Best. Time. Ever. Yaa Mon! (That’s another blog waiting to happen!) We got back home in the middle of the night, kissed our sweet kiddos while fast asleep, and then conked out due to jet lag and our vay-cay coma.
The next morning I walked out into my back yard for some chill time with Jesus….and…. SHRRRRIIIEEEK! MY ROSE BUSHES! They were ASTONISHING! Fully bloomed – with dozens of bright, perfect, beautiful yellow, white, pink, red, orange, even multicolored roses! It was a breath-taking sight of color and beauty. I stood there dumbfounded. In awe of the transformation that had taken place. I really couldn’t believe my eyes. Just a few weeks before they had been completely destroyed and seemingly left for dead. Immediately I was reminded of a passage of scripture in John, Chapter 15. The story of The Gardner who prunes, cuts back, shapes and cares for a vine so that even more fruit can be produced. I opened my bible and read these words:
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 NLT
Turns out my gardeners knew exactly what they were doing! They knew that in order for new, vibrant growth to come, they had to prune the heck out of my rose bushes! It made me realize that in the midst of my busy life there are areas that aren’t producing fruit – so the Lord, the Master Gardener, needs to cut those areas out and throw them away. But what struck me was that He also cuts back and prunes the areas of my life that are bearing fruit – so that even more fruit may come! Wow! Yet, these are the areas that hurt even more in the cultivating process. “Lord, why would you cut that thing/person/dream out of my life right now? Isn’t it a good thing? I like it. I want it. I don’t understand. It is honoring to you, and producing fruit that is good. It hurts that you are taking it away and reshaping it.”
The Lord’s gentle response is, “Trust me. I know what is best. I have a plan. I desire even more for you. Beauty that you can’t even imagine is going to come to fruition. Be patient. Endure. Keep your eyes open to see the remarkable transformation that is coming.” Again, wow!
I made a decision that day – to let the gardeners be the gardeners. They know exactly what they are doing. And I also chose to let God be God. He, even more so as the Creator of Heaven and Earth, knows exactly what he is doing with my life. I am His masterpiece and He is shaping, pruning, cutting, cultivating, preparing and transforming me. All so that I will be a beautiful display of his creativity and majesty!
I wonder if there are areas in your life that The Gardener is pruning? Does it hurt? Does it not make much sense? Do you wish the end result would come sooner? I’m with you girl; it’s hard! And pruning sucks! But I encourage you to trust in the process. A beautiful picture of grace, love, joy, peace, and goodness is making its way toward full bloom. And when it arrives, you will stop dead in your tracks and be blown away by its splendor! And oh, what a beautiful masterpiece you will be!
Much love, and happy pruning!