I have recently started getting things together for my garden. I have had a garden each summer for quite a few years. Some years are better than others, and last year was one of the best. It seems like I always change little things or do something different with the hopes that my garden will improve. Sometimes I start some seeds early (see the photo!), other times I buy little plants to transplant. All this work up front while looking forward to later this summer when I can walk outside and pick my own fresh produce.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 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. (John 15:1, 2 NIV)
Part of that makes perfect sense to me. If there is a vine or branch, or even a plant that is not bearing fruit, as a gardener, I will remove that to make the rest of the plant stronger. The part I have a hard time with is the pruning. Even when a branch is bearing fruit, the gardener will still cut it back to make the branch stronger. I don’t like cutting back good branches. I have had so many times that a plant did not bloom or the peppers were too small, or the tomatoes did not ripen. The times the peppers were growing, I did not want to cut them back, because I was afraid the plant might stop producing. The fact is, it would produce even more.
Transfer that little gardening tip to life now. How many times do I fear pruning back the good things in my life? I often do. Why mess with a good thing, right? Well, the gardening fact is, when you prune a branch, that allows the nutrients and resources that once feed 5 branches to now feeds 4 branches, or even 3. That greatly increases the strength and productivity of the remaining branches. The same is true with the things in my life. I can put the same amount of effort into less ‘things’ and the result is those ‘things’ become greater. In the garden, I need to remember that pruning will make my plants stronger and produce more fruit. It is ok for me to get rid of some ‘good’ things in my life in order to make the remaining ‘things’ the best they can be.
Maybe you are involved in too many activities. Pruning one back will allow you to focus more energy in the ones you keep. Maybe you are trying to be a part of too many ministries. Pruning some back will allow you to be more productive. Maybe you are working too many hours. Cutting back a little will allow for more family time and rest. What area of your life is good right now, but needs to be pruned back? Ask God to show you, then allow the Master Gardner to get out his pruning shears.
Good is often the worst enemy of best. Don’t settle for lots of good things, when you could allow God to prune some things back, and you could have his best.
What in your life could be pruned a little? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
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