Today there are huge piles of debris and clippings all around my backyard. It’s a mess. The summer storms have ravaged dead branches at the tops of our trees, and our yard is now wearing a tangled carpet of branches and twigs. It’s time for us to get out there, clean up the mess, clip back the overgrowth, prune, and plant. It’s exhilarating to realize that God, the Master Gardener causes all things to grow – but He needs me to participate in keeping it all healthy.
God, The Master Gardener
This reminds me of a time when we lived in an RV Resort Park in central Florida. Much of the park was covered with clippings and debris, and fallen branches. Paul had been at it again! I had often watched him work quietly and methodically topping the trees across the street. 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 the trees and the landscape at Williston Crossings almost since they were first planted. His hands were accustomed to knowing which to cut back and when the time was right to do so. Indeed, he was an experienced gardener.
I love to get my hands dirty in my flower gardens. I dig, plant, pull weeds, and baby my plants with all the love of a mother for her child. I want my plants to succeed. I find it satisfying to see them flourish. I water them, protect them from occasional frosty nights, and prune them regularly so they will produce more beauty. Sometimes when I pinch off a bloom and there is nothing but green left behind, I have a moment of sadness. But I know by doing so, there will be many more blooms to follow.
As I sat in church one Sunday and heard my pastor speak from the text in John 15, I was reminded of the thoughts I had entertained while watching Paul a few years earlier. In the Bible passage, God, the master garden-keeper of His children, often pinches prunes, thins, and tops in order to grow stronger and more abundant plants. If I was that plant, and had the capacity to understand what was happening to me, I’m sure I would resent and feel pain in the process. However, after the process, I would be 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.
Are you a gardener? Do you have some tried and true methods of pruning roses? Have you ever tried to propagate a new rose bush from a cutting? My father-in-law used to do this, but I’ve never tried it. I’d love to hear of your experience.