Friday, February 01, 2008

stripped bare


IS THIS HOW YOU FEEL?

As for now, a pretty dormant interest of mine is gardening. My focus these days is the corner of the Lord's vineyard called Grace and the little garden of our family, not my yard.

Still, this winter, I am trying to fill our green garden waste can each week, just so the work doesn't pile up and become overwhelming, which has involved me being in the yard a delightful hour or two each week. It's refreshing to get out between the rains.

This morning I stripped bare our front climbing rose, an Eden, bought not just for the name which matches our daughter's, but also for the breathtaking abundant flowers that go all Spring and Summer. Whenever I am in the yard, I naturally reflect on the ways and the work of God in creation and in us.

This morning, I stripped bare this rose and cut it way, way back. In just a few months it will be bursting with fuller growth and more beauty than ever before. And yet, as always, I found myself reluctant to cut it back. There is in me a fear that it will not come back.

Doesn't God work the same way in us? He strips us bare and prunes us back so we can bare more fruit and flowers. Isn't that what John 15 is all about? (Read it lately?)

And yet we fear and fight it so. We fear we will not come back. We don't want to be trained. We don't want to be pruned.

Are you being stripped bare? Is this a winter of your life? Look to the seasons. Look to the Lord. Look to Creation. Look to the Spring.

1 comment:

Brian Wong said...

Thanks for the exhortation, Pastor Tim. Great reminder!