There is this really beautiful hanging basket on my mother- in-law’s porch. It has beautiful pink and white blooms and the stems reach up toward the sun. Lately, however, it hasn’t been so beautiful. It hasn’t rained in awhile and we have neglected to water it. Slowly but surely it has browned and withered and is almost dead.
My sweet six-year-old, who has more of a green thumb than I do, has been watering it every single day. Just a little bit here and there. Slowly it has come back to life. It’s leaves are green now, and in the midst of what seemed like certain death, there is life. The plant’s true beauty is coming back.
This morning after a nice little argument with my husband—yes we have those, we are human, I decided it was time to cut away what was still dead on the plant and allow the good some room to grow. I snipped and cut away anything that had not come back. I thought and thought about what my husband and I talked about.Then something he said really struck me.
“Maybe we are going through this because God wants to show us something we need to get rid of so we can do this life together the way He wants us to.”
The exact moment I replayed those words in my mind I thought about God being the true gardener. Here I was snipping away the old, dead stems of the plant so it could be what it should be— at the very moment God was pruning away the weeds in my life.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vineyard keeper. Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. John 15:1-2
So simple, yet profound. My husband and I are being pruned. Pruned to be what He has intended us to be. Pruned to bear more fruit for His Kingdom and glory. He removes the dead, lifeless stems that bring nothing.
I will be honest with you— pruning hurts. It hurts to see my flaws, know I are stumbling or lacking in anything. It hurts deeply to disagree as a couple and not be walking in step with each other. I am glad the hanging plant cannot scream out as I often do during the pruning. It is so easy for me to see these times as hard instead of these times as beneficial. However, we must remember it is for a purpose.
By cutting back the plant it will return to its beauty and be even better than before. God is a good God that is pruning you and I to make us even more beautiful. We must keep our eyes focused on him, just as the plant stems reach for the sun. That plant knows where it’s life source comes from and it grows in that direction. We too must not ever forget our life source is found in Jesus and then follow that light.
You and I are beautifully loved children of the most High God and we must never forget He is the good vineyard keeper. Whatever you may be going through in your marriage, relationships, life— He is for you. Maybe this is a time of pruning and you need to stretch your arms up to the Son.
Sweet friend, lean in and allow God to do what only he can do.