Monday, October 7, 2013

Getting Hacked- Necessary Not Fun

We worked on our raspberries this past week and cleaned them all out for next year's crop. Raspberries grow on last year's canes and so the idea is to clean out the canes that produced fruit this year and only leave the canes that will produce the following year.

Pruning is kind of a strange thing. Cutting something back so that it will give you more fruit. It seems like it would be the opposite; if the plant were larger it would give you more fruit. In most cases this is untrue.

I'm all for fruit production and pruning; in the garden. I'm all for getting rid of that old stuff and keeping the productive ones. Unless it's in my own life and then I'm not too excited about it. I get that this is what God does and He tells us the reasons are the same as they are in the garden but what I want is for Him to prune off a leaf or two that are kind of ugly and then leave the rest of the plant alone. Hacking entire branches hurts.

I've had my fair share of hacking lately and I can't say that I am growing fonder of the process. From my head and my mouth I will say that God is good and I know that He doesn't make mistakes but there is a fear inside me that is wondering if He is going to hack until there is just a little stump left.

Again, I know that this plant, whatever it is, will probably grow back up to be more amazing than it was before and grow lots of fruit but right now it is "feeling" pretty crappy. Like David when he was humiliated in front of his people, this plant looks pretty ridiculous. 

God prunes for more fruit and if we are not bearing fruit then we are of no use for His purposes anymore. That's a hard saying but worthy of consideration. 

Another interesting thing I have been considering about these pruning cycles is that not only is my pruning for fruit production but also for the good of others and the glory of God. We encourage others when we bear up under the pain of pruning. 

The Father is the "Vine-dresser" or pruner and He knows what He is doing. Thinking about the pain of pruning itself is not productive but thinking about the process of pruning with an end to fruit production is working in the right direction. 

God prunes those He loves and He loves to see His branches bear LOTS of fruit. As much as I don't want to say it, if He decides that it's best for me to look like the plant above then I am supposed to be not just ok with but excited about the opportunity to be pruned by the best. That's a new spot for me to be in.

I acknowledge my dependence but I want to add my 2 cents in too. Bad program on my part. Dependence is not knowing that "I don't have all the answers" but rather that I don't have any of the answers and that I have to lay down my life and let Him prune as He knows best. 

Please pray that I would look towards the fruitful end rather than at the clippers. Pray that I would see that He is doing what is best even though watching those whole branches fall to the ground it is painful. 

As Long as You are Glorified- Sovereign Grace music. 

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings 
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long 
As You are glorified

Are You good only when I prosper 
And true only when I’m filled
Are You King only when I’m carefree 
And God only when I’m well
You are good when I’m poor and needy 
You are true when I’m parched and dry 
You still reign in the deepest valley 
You’re still God in the darkest night

So quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart in You

A lot of talking and singing to my soul lately.

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