This was a day in which God’s creation shone to its’ fullest! It was definitely a day for gardening outside with the kids. The warm sunbeams radiated through the flowers and the children were exploring every little aspect of the earth: the worms, wriggling and writhing to get to the surface: the snails inching along the fence line in search of some shade. It was quite serene, and the perfect opportunity for me to trim and prune the poor tree in the backyard. The tree had been looking sad for some time now and I was waiting for the right time to give it some attention and care.
Chloe and Bryce continued from their exploration to the task of “helping” me. This included sweeping the ever growing pile of leaves and debris on the ground and the never-ending barrage of questions that come my way on a daily basis. In full concentration on my task I heard Chloe ask, “Mommy doesn’t that hurt the tree when you pull the leaves off and cut the branches?”
What an amazing question coming from a 3 ½ year old. She is a very compassionate child so I wanted to offer her the right answer. My mind immediately went to the scripture verse in John 15: 1-8 when Jesus is talking about the Father being the gardener and we are the branches. How the Gardener cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit and prunes the branches that are fruit-bearing so that they will be more fruitful. Jesus says that He is the vine and if we remain in Him then we will bear much fruit. The vine is the root system of the plant and it is rooted where the nutrients (truth) is.
I thought about how it can be painful in my life when I have sin that is causing my branches to wither and die and how God needs to come as the Gardener and cut those branches out and pull the dead leaves off. If I continue to try nurturing those dead branches they are not going to spring back to life. They need to be painfully cut off so that I can again rely on the Vine for my nutrients instead of on my own strength.
My answer to Chloe was this, “ Yes, Chloe, it can be immediately painful for the tree to have its’ branches cut and its’ leaves pruned, but it makes the tree healthier and able to grow better in the end.”
That answer seemed to satisfy her curiosity and compassion towards the tree and the play continued after that.
Pray today that the Gardener would come and prune your life, so that you can be more deeply rooted in the truth of Jesus Christ. May your life be richly blessed by the fruit that you bear because you have allowed yourself to be pruned.