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God prunes to help us grow stronger, fuller

This is a very busy time of the year. We are trying to finish things up at school. Exams are next week, followed by graduation. The grass is growing and needs to be mowed. The garden is growing and looking good. The weeds are growing too, which means I have some work to do. My wife’s plants are glad to be out of the garage and are growing bigger and requiring some watering, which adds to an already busy schedule. How do we get it all done?
I am amazed every year watching my wife preparing her plants to go back outside after a long winter in the garage. Her plants hang in there, but they tend to put on some weak growth. They honestly look scraggly, with dead leaves and limbs. She looks them over and gives each one a good pruning before going outside. The garage floor looks littered with leaves and limbs and the plants look a little bare before they go outside.
We give the plants some plant food, water, and some warm sunshine and before you know it there is flush of new growth. I have noticed the same thing with the shrubs and some trees. If you prune things properly and at the right time of the year, the response is beautiful new growth. The new growth is strong and fuller.
One year I encouraged my wife not to prune a particular plant back so severely. Against her better judgment she didn’t. I watched that plant and noticed that it did not grow well that summer. It never looked as full and I believe it grew weakly. The following summer she wacked that plant way back and it grew back strong and healthy.
I’ve heard my wife humming as she does this work. She knows that the pruning will result in a stronger, better plant. I want you to know that I get nervous when I hear God humming as he comes close to me with the loppers. I know what he intends to do and I do not want him to come near me even though I know He is working on me with love.
If I felt like God was only coming to cut out sin from my life, I might be glad he was planning to help me. We could all use help at times to be delivered from our sinful ways, but it feels like sometimes God is cutting away the good stuff in my life. God is not whimsical when he approaches his work, but he looks at us with purpose and intent as he trims away.
I am glad when God’s trimming helps me find victory. More often than not, I believe God is trimming the good areas of my life. From my side it seems illogical for God to trim the good areas of my life, but His purpose is to make me stronger. When you trim plants back, the new growth comes in strong and fills in previous gaps in the plant.
God wants us to be strong Christians whom He can use for His purposes. When God cuts you back you will grow back stronger, better, and fuller. We become more useful to God if we are strong and we are living close to Him because we need Him. God wants us strong and close so we can hear His voice and be obedient. God has a purpose and a plan for our lives and part of that includes us being a light for Him in this dark world.
Many of us struggle to understand why God might have us in hard places at times. His reason is two-fold. First, He wants us to grow stronger and closer to Him. Difficult places make us draw closer and cause us to be filled with more of His spirit. Second, part of our purpose for being here is to reach out to the lost with His love. Most of the lost people are in difficult places and they need someone filled with God’s love and hope to become born again. God will go to unbelievable measures to reach out to the lost, including using you and me.
I want to encourage you to draw close to God even though you might hear Him humming and know he is about to do some serious trimming in your life. His trimming is for your strength. He is faithful and loving so the trimming He does will work out for the best. God sees great potential in you; the trimming He does is designed to bring that out. Sometimes it takes a good pruning before a great blooming.
Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is located at www.dougcreamer.com Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email doug@dougcreamer.com

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