"I am the vine, my father is the gardener. He cuts every branch in me that doesn't bear fruit. Every branch that does he prunes so it will be more fruitful." John 15:1-2
It's Spring and in Southern California we have had record rainfall this year. My plants are basking in the rich nutrients showered on them as the clouds continue to fill and then empty so late in the season. The infant greens and the blossoms are more vibrant than ever and the birds sing joyfully as they are busy building their nests.
I enjoy my plants and my backyard immensely. I spend up to an hour of quiet time outside as I begin each day. This year I have paid close attention to each plant's growth cycle and I have witnessed maturity through the natural pruning process. Some of my plants have also died since last year. I have learned that the natural life cycle of red banana trees is on average a couple of years. In two spots where there once stood a beautiful, full-leafed ten to twelve foot tree, there is now only a hole in the ground. I am contemplating what to plant there next.
All of life has a cycle and as much as we try to hold to what is beautiful or what we think helps us to feel happy or secure we all must experience a season of pruning. Sometimes our "branches" need to be cut off all together.
I believe that I have been going through a season of personal pruning. God is showing me what I should cut-off and what should be pruned so that I might produce more beautiful fruit. In some cases it is hard to determine what exactly I need to get rid of so I have been sitting by quietly and letting my heart, my soul, and my mind rest in the perfect gardener....God. I have been receiving peace of mind from His beautiful creation manifested in the living things found right outside my back door. It feels good to receive this blessing so for now I rest in it.
I suspect that others of you are feeling this season of new life and new growth. I know that many of you are in the midst of health crisis. Others are surviving the end of a relationship by separation or death. There are also many other personal or family problems which may be plaguing your mind or interrupting your sense of security. Maybe you are questioning or looking for answers?
Even though it is a painful process, remember that pruning or cutting-off is a part of life. "I have come to give you life and give it abundantly" says Jesus in John 10:10 He doesn't say I have come to give you an easy or a predictable life. An abundant life means a full life, a complete life, an entire life. A life including many ups and downs...the pruning or the cutting-off.
Maybe God has been revealing something to you during this season of regrowth? I hope and pray that you will embrace your changes and always look for what potential beauty is left from your pruning. I also hope that your personal season of growth will include both giving and receiving.
God is blessing you.