– Secret Place Insights –
Dear One, I wish I had a before picture to accompany the after photo of our Bridal White Jumbo Spirea. A few years ago, it looked as though it would never flourish again, that it had seen its best days, that it should be pulled out and replaced, when all it needed was a harsh pruning.
Although it can appear mean, in God’s Word, He speaks often of pruning…the pruning of Man.* Some He does for us, and some we must do ourselves. It seems to me that His direct pruning has been more successful than that which I am currently attempting to do. When I asked how I could possibly carryout all that had been added to my daily tasks, I got the strong impression that the problem was one that I was to solve myself.
Oswald Chambers, author of My Utmost for His Highest, does teach that what we can do for ourselves – we are to do ourselves. Then Chambers adds, that the things which cannot be done apart from God should be taken to Him through prayer.
Recently, the directive which came to me was that I should…start earlier, work faster, and longer…oh my. So, I am trying, and have made some progress, but not nearly enough. To find more time in my day, I am now looking at the painful process of what unnecessary things I might eliminate. Is it time spent in the kitchen? We have had guests for dinner three times this week. I suppose I could cut down on that? It would be terribly difficult. Feeding friends and family is not only my love language, it is a delightful escape for me, much like chasing a golf ball around the fairway is for so many.
This personal, self-inflicted pruning is agonizing, but I know from Scripture it is, in…the…long…run a blessing from God. For it is mentioned so often in God’s Word:
“My son,* do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
And do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
Because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
And he punishes (helps) everyone he accepts as a son.” Hebrews 12:5b-6
Even Jesus said this about His Father:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
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.” John 15:1-2
To be reminded of the results of a good pruning all I have to do is look outside at the spirea. I should look at this self-pruning as a gift from God, even though, the work is up to me. BUT I can, and MUST do this, PRAY – and ask God for the strength and perseverance to carry through to His glory.
Now where did Ron put the clippers? I better hit this one hard for I know that there is another pruning awaiting me…more clipping and snipping. I got some hint of it this morning as I was reading Proverbs. No, I’m not going to share it with you right now…for even though I know God’s pruning is wrapped in love…at this moment, I hate to think of it.
“I am the vine; you are the branches, if a man
remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much
fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
*reference to Man or son includes women
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