Tag Archive | care

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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The Harvest is Ripe — but Do We Care?

pdrm0011Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.  Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.  For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” John 4:34-38 (NKJV)

So often, we think that there is plenty of time to get around to those spiritual duties we postpone….when I am uncomfortable with something, I put it off.  I assume that the “right time” to talk to that friend or neighbor about God will come later, but it certainly is not NOW!  I wriggle out of opportunities that make me squirm a bit or that are a bit unclear.  I ask God for MORE direction and confirmation.  I figure that the harvest will come later, when it is fully ripe.  However, Jesus says that the fields are ripe for harvest NOW!  The real issue is, do I really care?  Do I care enough about people to risk feeling uncomfortable with their pain, their unanswered questions, and my own ignorant bumbling to really dare to tell them the good news of Jesus Christ?   Or do I simply assume that the harvest is a job for special people with special gifts and particular training?  Do I excuse myself from participation in the harvest because I think only certain people with “THAT” kind of spiritual destiny are called to work in the harvest field?  Perhaps I don’t like the field I see in front of me — I prefer fields that are more removed from my home base, more exotic or more grandiose.  Perhaps I prefer to harvest kiwis rather than the soybeans in my own back yard…. I surely need to repent — to repent of my own unwillingness and reluctance, my own fears and insecurities, and my own distaste for getting a little dirt on my hands.  The harvest is HERE.  All I need to do is lift up my eyes and ask God to help me see it with His eyes.  The fields are before us, ripe for the picking.  God has called us to it, and we have no excuse NOT to plunge in and reap the fruit (and the rewards!).  He invites us to come.  He will meet us there, if we will but dare to step out!