I am not much of a gardener! In fact, I normally kill all the plants I touch, not by choice, of course! I love gardens though! One of the things that always amazes me about the British people is how much pride they take in having a nice tidy garden!
Even with my small knowledge of the gardening world, I know that certain plants like shade, others like direct sun light. Some are outside plants and some are indoors. I also know that in order for a plant to thrive in the garden and get well established it needs pruning. I have always been fascinated by the pruning process! The gardener there, looking after the beloved plant, cutting away the over growth, the dead bits, the tired ones. Sometimes I watch thinking to myself: “will that ever grow again and be beautiful and colourful?” I often forget the dedicated gardener loves his plants and he knows when the pruning needs to happen and which plants in the garden need it. The gardener knows the plant well. He speaks to it and shows how much he cares and how much he wants to see the plant flourishing and blooming in the right season. The plant cannot do anything, but wait until the time is right and the work has finished.
God is the greater Gardener! He knows all his plants well and in the right time He will start pruning his garden. He will be cutting away, taking the dead, dry bits away, removing what is not good. This process is hard but necessary. All of us, as Christians, will be pruned by the Master in order to grow and flourish. Sometimes it might seem as if we will not be able to get through it, but the supreme Gardener, the Creator, the King of our lives has the whole design in mind and HE knows each plant well. He knows how much light or shade we need, how much water or feed to give us and He knows how beautiful we will be and how much fruit we will produce after the pruning is done and the right season comes.
Perhaps there are times in our lives that we think it is hard and we might not be able to get to the other side of a problem, a disappointment, a health issue, a broken heart, a broken relationship, a different answer to our heart’s desire. Perhaps through these times we find it really hard to understand why.
God is most likely pruning us. Training us to grow in a way He has already designed for us. He is preparing us for, in the right time, produce the fruit or flowers that will embellish the garden and bring an amazing fragrance to the air.
May I suggest that we should respond to God in the same way the plant respond to the gardener: with complete trust that the Gardener knows what he is doing. Although we might feel hurt, cold, ugly, alone, He loves us and is taking care of us. If we carry on trusting and reminding ourselves that God has a perfect plan, it might not be the same plan we think it is perfect for us, but we can confidently say that HIS plan is far better and truly perfect.
“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8
“Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.” Psalm 84:12
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1