Recently, I decided I was going to be a gardener.
I have absolutely no previous experience, only this image of picking fresh produce, and pruning and drying herbs with incredible smells that would fill up a kitchen. But before any of that could happen I knew there was at least some sort of ground work I would need to do. I raked grass from a small plot of land, pulled up small surface roots, and cleared out rocks and debris hidden in the dirt. Maybe I could have my soil ready to plant in one day?! I thought.
Then I found a root deep in the ground traveling through the land I was clearing. It branched off into other roots that went even further. I found myself with a hacksaw and large shears trying to cut through and tear it out of the ground so it wouldn’t creep back later.
And with the hope of producing at the right time, I stuck with the process of digging up and tearing out.
Our God is One who also sticks with the process of digging up and tearing out: things in our own lives that are not to our benefit, things that will never produce fruit, things that will not lead us towards abundant life.
He is the Great Gardener whose patience with our debris filled plots of land never wears thin, and we are His landscape projects. What better hands to be in?
The digging, the uprooting, the pruning of our lives is not easy, but it’s needed if we’re to grow into all our God has for us.
So, we let Him take us through the hard and wonderful process of pruning anything in life keeping our growth stunted, or less than what we could be. If pruning begins in our minds, then what are we feeding our brains? If our attitude is a byproduct of our thoughts, what takes up our thought lives? The Bible tells us to put to death, to prune out, all of the earthly mess lurking inside of us. Prune out impurity, lust, greed, anger, slander, ugly language, lies…and to renew your mind (Colossians 3:5-10). Some plants are naturally full of vines, and you just can’t plant them together. The roots will become too tangled and nothing will be produced from what you’ve planted.
You also cannot keep lust and greed in your life while trying to plant love and generosity.
But God, in all of His wonder, clears out more than what we need to plant and produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
So, what needs to go? What needs to be pruned and cleared out of your life? Pray for God to search your heart and thoughts; to shine a light on anything that won’t work for the plan and purpose He has for you (Psalm 139: 23-24).
And then watch what grows.
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