Is it just me or has the winter seemed especially long – and cold? Spring is dragging her feet and my spirit is almost as cold as my bones. I’m ready for green, and color, and beautiful flowers. The plants in my yard appear as if they want to bloom but keep getting teased about whether its time or not. I know to everything there is a season, and that God has made everything beautiful in his time but I’m a bit impatient right about now. I can’t see what lies beneath the sod or is hidden inside those flower buds, but I know God has it all under control. I suppose it’s the same with me. God is at work in my life though sometimes I can’t see it.
Have you been working in your yard? In some parts of the country spring has fully arrived and flowers are in bloom. We’re a little bit behind here, but I’m seeing the first beautiful Iris lift up their elegant stalks and without fanfare, burst open in magnificent grandeur.
Years ago we lived in an RV Resort park in Florida. Each spring there would be piles of debris and clippings all around our campground. Paul, the lawn maintenance man, was at it again – pruning, clipping, and cutting large limbs. I had watched him do this every spring. He worked quietly and methodically topping the trees across the street from my camper. The trees had grown tall, lush, and were gently blowing in the breeze. I thought they were beautiful as they were; so naturally I had to go ask Paul about his work. “Paul, will those trees grow back?” Without missing a clip, he responded, “They always have before. I do this every year.” Paul had been tending these trees and the landscape here at Williston Crossings almost since they were first planted. His hands are accustomed to knowing which to cut back and when the time is right to do so. Indeed, he is an experienced gardener.
Master Gardener at Work in my life
I look at my flower garden and decide that there is nothing I can do to coax those buds to open. However, I can clean up the debris that is fallen around the gardens, rake away the decay from winter, and put down fresh mulch. I can tend the garden. I can prune any bushes needing a little freshening, and prepare for the new growth.
As I sat in church one Sunday I had heard my pastor speak from the text in John 15. It’s the story of God being the care-taker of our lives, comparing us to vines that bear no fruit. He says he will purge, or prune such a vine so that it will bring forth more fruit. The sermon reminded me of the thoughts I had entertained while watching Paul prune those trees. In the Bible passage, God, the chief garden-keeper of His children, often pinches prunes, thins, and tops in order to grow stronger and more abundant plants. I sometimes feel resentment and pain in the process, but afterward I am stronger and better equipped to face life’s many trials.
Life has a way of bringing to us a cycle of growth, periods of blowing gently in the breeze, and then harsh realities of serious pruning. I’m glad to know God is a Master Gardener, and will take those painful moments I may experience, bring forth new lush growth, and in the process, make me a stronger plant than I could ever have imagined.
I’ve a lot of work to do, both in my yard and in my life. For me the first place I need to start is with an examination of the current status of the plant – in this case – my cold heart. I need to raise my sights beyond my situation, my circumstances, and my status quo existence. I wonder what I will discover that needs to be pruned. I’m sure as I jump into the mind-set of willing spirit, God will take whatevcer I surender and make it beautiful in His time.
Meanwhile, I’m going outside to get some inspiration in my own flower beds. I noticed when I looked out the kitchen window that my Clematis had bloomed out today, and I’m inspired. What is blooming in your yard? How about your heart? Share the blessings – Let me hear from you.