If you have been married to someone for any length of time, you are bound to discover little habits and quirks that drive you crazy. My husband has this thing with trees in our yard. He prunes them. All the time. In every season. He trims back leaves, chops off entire branches and cuts off the tops. Just when I start to enjoy the flourishing growth, he whacks away at it. He says things like, "It will produce bigger fruit! It will grow taller. Trust me!"
But I don't want to trust him! "Let 'em be!", I say.
In time, I forget about the clippings on the ground, and go on with life. Until a day like today comes. Today was a day that I went out to check on our cherry trees. When I looked up I was treated to a pleasant surprise. Bright red, shiny, plump cherries hung in huge clusters from the branches. I couldn't even wait to get a bucket. I just enjoyed eating them right off the tree.
John 15 tells a parable of Jesus, when He said, "And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more." I think there are periods in life when we feel really good about what we are producing through our lives. Everything is clicking, our personal time with Father is meaningful, our relationships are flourishing, then all of a sudden, WHACK! And we cry out in astonishment, "But God, I am doing everything right! But God, don't you love me? But God, I deserve more, not less! What is happening?!"
I like to trust in the mystery of God when He gives me unexpected, pleasant blessings. But when I get cut, I bleed, just like you! But to trust God in the mystery of unexpected pain, that is another story. Can I set my eyes further than my pain, and see that He will produce more through my life as a result? I am trying.
Maybe today you are asking "why", through tears, through injustice, through devastation. I believe that the Father of your heart, the Gardener of your life, is creating something beautiful. He is tenderly caring for your limbs, seeing glorious fruit to come. It will come. He has not abandoned you. He is with you. Let your tears become the water that will nourish the soil of your life. Let the strength He has already placed within you sustain you as you stay planted. Lean on Him as He props you up with His caring hands.
Through the pain, trust in the promise of fruit to come. He loves you so much, too much to leave you mediocre. He has placed greatness within you, in the very seeds of your DNA and when He prunes you, He is calling the greatness forth. So rise, my friend. When He subtracts, it brings multiplication. God math. Crazy God math.
Know that the pain won't last forever, but the promise will.
So I will trust Him. I still may not trust my husband with garden shears in his hands, but I trust God. He is a good Gardener. His promises are worth the pain. I have to believe that. Maybe you should too.