I don’t often notice the flowerbeds, but I couldn’t help see all the dead flowers and the gangly stems that filled the flowers beds today. The flower beds once looked quite neat, but now they looked – uncared for. My wife always tells me. “If you see something that needs to be done… do it!”
So I grabbed my pruners and hedge clippers, an oversized trash bag and two garbage pails. I was ready to clean the flower beds.
I know very little about flowers and garden plants, but I can tell the difference between alive and dead, so I clipped off all the flowers that had opened and now were dried up shells. I clipped off the dead stems from flowers that had come and gone. And I pruned back plants that had gone wild.
Why do we do these things? My limited knowledge of gardening tells me that we clean up the plants that are finished for the season so that they will be ready to produce again next year. If we care for them now they will be productive next season. (And things simply look better when there is some TLC given to the flower beds!)
I am reminded of what Jesus said in John 15:1-2:
15 “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.”
Our Lord is telling us is that in our lives there are things that sometimes need to be removed – or pruned – so that we might bear more fruit for him. There may be habits, or associates, even beliefs that need to be taken out of our lives so that we might better point others to Jesus. Sometimes even our attitudes need an adjustment, and Jesus can do that.
So maybe next time we pray we might want to ask the Lord to do the pruning necessary in our lives so we might be all He wants us to be. I assure you, he never takes away what we need, and always leaves us healthier and happier!
– Pastor Gary