"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gardening Lessons

Yesterday in the early evening, I went out to my garden to prune the winter-bloom bushes. Once in the Fall and once in the Spring, apparently, a well kept garden is pruned. I am learning to garden... I am told that twice a year I need to get out into the yard and trim back the death. Those plants that blossomed beautifully in the late Fall and Winter are now brown and ugly. The death goes deep down the shoots, not just the surface dead leaves and flowers. Being that this was my first time to enter the garden with clippers, I realized very quickly that I needed to cut deep. I needed to cut far down the stalk to get to the root of the withered plant's arms. Deep and big are the branches I must cut.

I have read much about gardening as it relates to the Father and His work in our lives. But, until I made my hands sore last night cutting away at old branches, withered flowers and dead leaves did I realize the impact of this truth in my life. The bush that is left after I hacked away can hardly be called a bush... a stump really, or a cluster of small stumps. But, if you look closely at the stump you can see life in those branches! When cut deep enough, when I cut off the hollow lifeless branches... life pulses in the base of those branches. And, now, I know that they will grow again in their time. In season, they will bloom brilliantly... with fragrance and colors that will 'wow' me again next Fall.

Interestingly enough, all around the garden there are also new things in bloom... little blossoms covering trees that my husband hacked at in the Fall. The Spring bushes are bursting forth. For months now they have looked quite pitiful really. Now, they show blossoms of growth. In no time, I will be awed by the life and beauty that will show forth on these trees, these bushes... this sleepy ground around my garden.

So, one bush blooms in the Fall and now must be trimmed and pruned. One bush blooms in the Spring... vibrant and awakening after months of sleep and ugliness.

Last night, as I cut, pruned, trimmed and hacked I asked God to do the same in me. Cut all the dead off, Lord!! I prayed. "Go deep and get rid of the ugly and the death... that I might bloom again in season! I trust You God to prune me, to shape me and to ready me for beauty again!"

He did. And, I know He will. And, He also reminded me that some of my "branches" are showing life and new buds, too. Me, or my heart really,... as His garden... is varied. Some parts of me need to die, to give up and be pruned... some parts of my heart are bursting forth with growth and life.

Everything in its own season. Everything in its own time. God's time. I see new life of trust blossoming in areas that He cut in the Fall... areas of strength today that I didn't see yesterday. His strength, His life, pulsating from deep within and showing forth on some of my branches today.

Today I feel strong. Strength I didn't feel yesterday seems to be rising within me. His strength, like the buds on the trees around me, is pushing forth and breaking through. Today, I awoke and came to His word and testified to the truth that "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." Psalm 29:7

In the Fall, I will go again into my garden and cut back the beauty I see today. The seasons and the work of the Gardener will keep life growing and blooming. In His time. For, He began this good work in me and will bring (is bringing) it to completion.
The most generous vine, if not pruned, runs out into many superfluous stems and grows at last weak and fruitless: so doth the best man if he be not cut short in his desires, and pruned with afflictions. ~Joseph Hal
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