The Stark of Winter
I recently pruned my rose bushes. I always thought roses should be pruned at the end of the autumn. At least I got the old frost-bitten leaves off them then. But, the instructions I read said to prune at the end of winter, just before spring. So, I waited. This year winter has been mild so I gave up waiting for the long-term deep freeze, and just went out one day and pruned.
THEN we got snow. And it melted in two days. At this point, at least here, I could only laugh at the weather. But my roses look like sticks. Good grief.
Pruning, Suffering and Growth
Last year for the first time, I pruned my roses nearly all the way to the ground. I was so afraid I’d killed my beloved bushes. Not so! They came back during the growing season, more lush than before, taller, fuller and more flowers than ever. Wow!
I bet you know what I am going to say next. Growth does not come without the pruning first. And then the suffering season.
A lot of us have been through all of these in the last year. Some of us are in the midst and still others are at the beginning. Not what we would choose at all.
But God knows what it will take for every one of us to grow. And He has plans for lavish growth. Does that mean a full snipping and cutting must come first? And that means deep suffering.
Yet our God loves us so much that He desires that we come forth in great beauty, with lush blooms and foliage to showcase His handiwork in us. He tenderly coaxes out the flowers, even as He continually cuts away the dead parts, or the sprays out the mildew.
Why do we not look beyond the pruning season to the hope of the great abundance that God has beyond it for us? Why are we so short sighted? Beyond the pain is promised glory.
The Glory of Spring
Every spring I take daily walks around my gardens. Yes, daffodils and crocus are poking up, and today I even saw a bleeding heart show its head. There are buds on the rose sticks, too.
I am looking forward to beautiful blooms this year. Showcasing God’s handiwork.
I guess He likes to showcase His handiwork in us, too.
“Consider what God has done: who can straighten what He has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man (or woman) cannot discover anything about his (her) future” (Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 NIV).