Pruning Time

Looking at the sky this morning, I knew a storm was coming. There was not much time to work.

I went out to my flower garden to check on my wildflowers. They were overgrown and needed tending. A few had grown way past the garden boundary and into the yard. The stems were too thick to trim easily, and the plant was trained to head in the wrong direction. Though they were alive and strong, with fresh blooms, I had to pull those out by the roots and cast them aside.

Sin in our life has no place. It must be uprooted and cast out. To transgress means to go beyond the boundary; to cross the line set for us. There is no remedy even if that sin seems to be producing something good in our lives. It has to go.

Other plants were growing within the boundary I had set for them but displayed dead and rotting blossoms along with the fresh blooms. I took a pair of scissors, and removed the unsightly blooms, tossing them in the trash heap. As I did, the plants stood upright. I hadn’t realized, but the entire plant was weighed down and bent over by blossoms that had died.

This got me thinking. How many things am I clinging to that weigh me down? They had their time of beauty and usefulness in my life but now crowd out the sunlight to new development. If I trim away yesterday’s glories, I will have room and strength for what I am given today. Time is short. I want to do all things to God’s glory and produce what the Master of the garden desires. May the coming day bring me wisdom to not spend my strength for things that no longer have any use to Him.

John 15  (ESV)
I Am the True Vine
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser.  2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit…
6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

A long time ago, I wrote a poem about a foolish woman wasting time on what should have been discarded.

Still

She’s still watering the flowers
although they’re bent and brown,
in hopes, life giving showers
will restore their withered gown.
Each morning at the window
she’s looking to the sun
expecting reaching limbs to bear
the fruit of labors won.
Then for a little while
signs of life seem to appear
but the season’s growing colder
and the creeping sleep draws near.
As frost sparkles from each stem
you will find her tending still,
pouring water on the flowers

that lie dead upon the hill.

Jane Clark – 2004
You may share this poem freely, with attribution.

May each of us (myself included) find the freedom of letting go what was yesterday’s glory and diligently work the field of God to produce today’s fruit.