Tag Archive | affliction

Pruning is good for me!

Pruning

A good farmer knows how to prune his fruit trees, rose bushes, nut trees, etc. It’s work that’s done in the non-growing season. The tree ends up looking quite bare, almost dead. This past winter, I pruned my rose bush down to a 6 inch stub. Afterward, I was concerned that I had pruned too much and actually had killed the rose bush. Within a few weeks, I saw new shoots coming out of it! Now, I have beautiful roses blooming.

This is what God does to us. We aren’t always in a growing season. When the “off” season hits, that’s our pruning time. God is the Master Gardener. He uses skilled hands to tenderly and lovingly remove branches for maximum growth. And when spring comes, beautiful blooms. He takes off the things that are holding us back: complacency, un-forgiveness, hatred, gossip, etc.

For me, this pruning is not always fun. In fact, I like staying in my comfort zone. I have come to realize, that He knows what is best even when I cannot see spring on it’s way. Sometimes, I don’t get it until much later when I can look back at the difficult pruning.

I pray that I allow the pruning and it produces His beauty in me.

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Hosea 2:14-15 The Door of Hope

330px-glacial_valley_mthoodwilderness“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” Hosea 2:14-15 NKJV

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NKJV

Just as the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, He sometimes leads us into the wilderness to give us victory over temptation and trouble. Hosea says that the Lord will speak comfort to us in the waste places of our lives. He even promises to give us fruit from those dry, devastated places. In fact, the Valley of Achor will be a door of hope. The word “achor” in Hebrew means trouble or disturbance. God says in this passage that the very depths of our disturbance He will transform into a door (literally, an opening) of hope. He will give us a door of hope, an opening, in the situations which have hemmed us in, disturbed us, and kept us from moving forward. The word for “trouble” in Psalm 46:1 is a word that literally means “narrow place,” “tightness,” “adversity,” or “affliction.” Here, too, the Lord promises to be present with us. When we find ourselves in the Valley of Trouble of any kind, we need to remember that the Lord intends to give us a door of hope in the midst of that trouble and bring great fruit from our afflictions. He is ever-present with us in the midst of difficulties of all types. He is faithful and will give us our vineyards from that place of seeming restriction and barrenness. Ask Him to show you the door of hope that He has promised. He will reveal it to you.