“Good God Dad! Mum’s going to kill you for murdering her roses!”, was the shocked response from my son as I trimmed the roses back to stumps. I must admit my over-zealous efforts scared me a little as I surveyed my handywork.
Through winter I watched those stumps, vowing to not complain when my wife would present her request for them to be replaced.
As I reflected on this miraculous vista of colour, fragrance and beauty, I was reminded of the following verses in the Bible:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
I understand that the Gardener has to sometimes prune back hard. The remaining stump doesn’t look that good. Many who look on maybe revolted by what they initially see. Then when the season changes and the Spring comes, that stump is ready to respond and growth is inevitable.
Just as I look upon the bed of roses and am delighted by what I see, so does God, our Father, as he looks upon each of us, as we remain in His Love, and obey his commands.
His joy is found in us… just as my joy was found in those stunning roses.
So if you feel like you are being pruned, or if you feel like a stump at the moment, it’s okay… the change is coming… the fragrance of Spring is in the air.