A Little Off the Top

>> Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It was beautiful outside and about the last thing I wanted was to be stuck indoors.

Would have really liked to play golf, but couldn’t justify it when there were so many things on the home front in need of my attention. In order to satisfy my urge to commune with nature, I decided to tackle yard work.

I moaned and groaned through weeding and decided I needed some upright activity. So I grabbed the hedge shears and began envisioning the masterpiece my burning bush would soon become.

There I stood, scissors poised. Yet something held me back…happens every time. I know it’s silly. A little embarrassing actually. My issue?

I’m afraid of causing pain to an innocent plant.

It just seems kind of cruel. After all, what did the poor thing ever do to me? It fulfills its intended purpose, growing and sprawling in fine bushly fashion and how do I reward it?

By whacking off its limbs.

My rational side knows that trimming stimulates new growth and make for an all-around healthier shrub. But still...

“Just get on with it,” I muttered and plunged ahead. Soon a pile of branches surrounded my feet and it was shaping up rather nicely.

Then it hit me, mid-snip:


He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, 
and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so 
they will produce even more.    John 15.2 NLT 

Maybe that’s why I hesitate and worry about the inhabitants of my yard: Even though it’s good for them in the long run, pruning hurts.

We're the same way.

God makes it very clear that we are to produce fruit for the Kingdom. And divine pruning goes along with it.

I want to be a fruit bearer by using my gifts and living a life that pleases him. And I know I’ll need trimming from time to time. It helps us grow and teaches us to trust him. But sometimes it’s hard to see that it’s for our benefit in the midst of the pain.

Of course, the alternative wouldn’t be so great either. Would I really want him to just ignore me and let me grow wild and out of control? No.

But maybe I can request just a little off the top.

Finished Product (You should have seen it before...)


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