August, 2022 – Faithful Living ~
Last month, I shared about my personal experience with Orville and Ruth Merillat and
commented on the tremendous impact that these two people had and continue to have,
making a difference in the lives of many…in this area and elsewhere.
This month, I want to continue the conversation about Rosie the rose bush on the west side of the Christian Family Centre.
In adopting Rosie, I have sort of “assumed” the responsibility for her care. When we got back from Florida in the spring, I was excited to see her again. She looked a little weathered but survived the winter. I love the spring time and what our Creator does in bringing new life to the earth.
Instinctively, her genetic disposition guided by God, is remarkably again on display. First leaves then buds began to appear. The buds continued to enlarge and then they began to open. How beautiful the first blooms were that complimented the walkway near the entrance doors.
Roses do what roses do best. They were designed to bring forth beautiful flowers that also capture the olfactory sense…with gentle wafts of fragrance.
Why did God create this delicate-pedaled and radiantly colored flower that graces the tip of a thorny stem? Don’t tell me He doesn’t have a sense of humor. Maybe He chuckled a bit when He thought about and brought forth the rose. What a contrast of soft and prickly…
One morning, I took some trimmers and removed a lifeless branch on the front right side. The Bible talks a bit about the process of pruning. God removes the non-producing parts of our lives, just like I have done to Rosie. Sometimes we can’t feel it as our Lord trims us up but at other times we certainly can.
On occasion, He might move in and remove some producing areas that might be alive but He prunes these away to bring forth more abundance. God is always working for our good, even as He deals with those areas that need attention. This way, He continues to craft us into the people He wants us to be. Often times this process of taking away, is not pleasant.
How about pride for example. Sometimes I would get on my “high horse” as my Dad would point out. And, for my own good, he would reel me back in to humble me. He was correcting my behavior and doing his best to grow me up in the way I should go. Hopefully he thought down the line, I would remember these lessons of old. Gratefully, I have.
One Sunday morning, I placed a quarter in the Sunday school offering plate and took out fifty cents. My entrepreneurial prowess kicked in and I was secretly proud of myself until I got home. With my fist tightly griped, Dad asked what was in my hand. I reluctantly released the white knuckles and fessed up. Needless to say, we traveled back to church he and I, and for some reason, I can’t remember what happened after that. I just know Dad was quiet…and told me that won’t happen again. He was often a man of few words.
Regardless of our station or status, God will find a way to cut off the un-productive parts of our lives. Sometimes it feels OK and at other times, the transformation is painful. If you are right now in the midst of a prune job, stay the course and hang in there. The unpleasantness will abate and you will be better for it, I can assure you. A greater yield is on the way!
The first blooms have come and gone and one morning, I dead headed the old, placing the decaying material underneath to provide some nutritional value for the roses yet to come. GoRosieGo! As of Tuesday August 9th, there are nine blooms with several more on the way!
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that
doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more…. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15: 1-4.
My prayer is that our Lord will continue to prune us into the people He desires us to be.