He Prunes

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I am not a very experienced gardener, by any means.

The flowers and plants that I do have are all somewhat low maintenance.

More times than I would like to remember, I have unintentionally been the cause of a plant’s demise.

When our family moved into our house sixteen years ago, there was a single rose bush in the front garden area.

Since I knew very little about rose bushes, I left it alone most of the time, hoping it would be all right.

A few weeks ago, I decided to face my fear of possibly destroying the bush and actually do some pruning.

Major pruning.

The bush only had two fairly large canes coming up from the ground.

I decided to cut them off at about two feet high.

Taking the cut branches that had once been my five foot tall rose bush, I placed them in water and later planted them.

Very quickly, the two solitary canes began to grow new branches.

Healthy, vibrant looking ones.

To date, there are four new branches that have doubled the height of what I had left and each branch is making a rose.

In fact, this afternoon, I photographed the first new, red rose to emerge after the pruning!

The old, spindly branches needed to be removed for a long time, but I was afraid.

Afraid of what might happen if the bush “started over.”

I’m not just that way with roses.

There have been times in my life when I have been too afraid to get rid of things in my life that were holding me back.

Things that were in the way of becoming what God wanted me to become.

And it wasn’t only things that I was afraid to allow God to prune, it was attitudes and feelings.

Distractions from what was most important.

Insecurities.

Fears.

God knows what’s best.

Sometimes pruning has to take place if there is to be positive change.

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Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
—John 15:2

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more fruit

Summer and Winter

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It’s that in-between time of year.

The time of year when the thermometer has the most fun moving twenty degrees up and down every day.

I guess, for thermometers, it’s roller coaster season.

Will it be hot?

Cold?

Windy?

You never know.

The leaves on some of the trees have turned golden and brown, scattered on the sidewalk like coins in a treasure chest.

That seems like autumn to me.

The rose bush that towers above the sidewalk isn’t up for the change as yet, though.

Right now, two crimson roses are blooming, just like it was the middle of summer.

The bright red color highlights the walkway up to the front door.

Winter will just have to wait, at least for a little while longer.

I wonder why God made the seasons?

Was it to mimic our lives as we grow older, only with an invitation for new birth in Christ?

It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter.

—-Psalm 74:17

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summer