Pruning for Growth and Life
I spent a beautiful fall afternoon outdoors today cutting a huge amount of blooms and vegetation from a number of potted plants on my deck. I hate to cut them back now when there's no chance of frost in the forecast, but if I delay any longer I'll get caught short, be unable to get them ready to come inside for winter, and they'll die. 

Right now they are drying off from being sprayed for bugs. I applied a pesticide so they won't infect my other house plants on my 3-tier lighted plant stand where I hope to able to squeeze many of the deck plants. 

As I was cutting back so much of this summer's growth and some dead spots I found, I tried to focus on the fact that the plants will get thicker and grow better next summer when they once again return to the warmth of the deck for summer. Otherwise it makes me sad to have to remove their flowers when they're at the height of their glory. But it's for their own good that I prune them! If they want to stay alive and continue to dwell with me, they must be pruned to fit inside my house.

As I was working I wondered how God the vinedresser feels when He prunes us. If He's matter of fact about it, like a good gardener, when He prunes us for our own good so that we will grow better and stronger with the character that we should have, and so that we will eventually have eternal life in His family. Or if it bothers Him just a bit to have to do it, but He forces Himself like I did this afternoon --so that we (like my plants) can continue to live and be able to dwell with Him. 

Well, I'd better start bringing the plants in. The place where this analogy breaks down is that I may not have room for all my plants in my house, but God has room for as many in His family as will accept Him as their Father! 

Kathy Coleman, Oct 24, 2004