The rhododendrons are absolutely glorious right now. Several people have come by to see them because the bushes are just LOADED with blooms which also attract a multitude of butterflies. It is truly a feast for the eyes.
These friends will say, “You have such beautiful flowers. You do such a lovely job with your yard.”
I am not being falsely humble when I say that I cannot take credit for the beauty of these flowers. There are several reasons I say this;
- I did not design or create these flowers
- I did not plant these flowers – former owners Peggy Mason and her husband Charles did.
- I did not plant the large white pine trees that tower over these bushes providing the right amount of shade as well as their needles for added mulch and acidity.
The only thing we ever do to these lovely plants is cut off the dead branches.
These dead branches are not only unsightly, but they can harbor insects or disease that affects the plants’ health.
I have had to cut out lots of dead branches on other plants as well this spring. The late freeze caught several of our hydrangea which had started to bud in the unseasonably warm winter. But then….ZAP!
I was often disheartened as I cut off the results of frozen buds and long stems that only days before had held the promise of big blue blooms later this spring.
Yet when I stood back and looked at the end result….yes! The trimmed plants did look much better.
God wants to cut off the old “dead” parts of our lives.
John 15:1-2 says this –
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
Notice the reason God, the heavenly gardener, cuts off a branch – “so it will be even more fruitful”.
God allows things to be taken from our lives so that the things that remain are more effective. When I cut the blooms from most annuals, the plant will produce more flowers. If I leave the blooms on the plant, they die on the stem and go to seed. There are no more flowers.
Sometimes we think we are the only one who knows what is “dead”, no longer producing fruit, in our lives.
Our Heavenly Father knows.
We must trust as God cuts off the dead things in our lives so that new growth can flourish.
i remember the sadness I felt when my opportunity to help lead worship ended. That was something I loved doing.
It was cut off.
Now I worship with the congregation and I love being able to focus entirely on worshipping God, not the next cord, song, or when to stop, etc.
God has allowed me to participate in ministry opportunities I would never have dreamed of doing earlier in my live. I tbelieve these are “new growth” resulting from His pruning.
May we trust all our Heavenly Father does in our lives. After all, “my Father is the gardener.”