All of us have seen a beautifully landscaped yard. Yards with beautiful flowers, trees trimmed perfect and long fruitful vines. Everything in place growing and blooming, it just makes you want to sit in the middle of all that beauty and relax without a care in the world. Sounds gorgeous, right? But it wasn’t always that way.
I remember when I was little and I used to go to my grandma’s house. In the front yard, there was a row of roses, they were beautiful with bright colors. My mom would pull up to my grandma’s house early in the morning and I would see my grandmother outside with a water hose in one hand and some really sharp pruning shears in the other, and man, they were sharp cause grandpa sharpened them up good. As I scrambled to get out of the car so I could go see what she was doing and so I could play in the dirt, I would watch her cut and pull away parts of the bush. I asked, “ Grandma why are you cutting the bush up, aren’t you going to hurt it?” She would lean over and tell me that she was removing all the dead and broken stuff away from the flower because otherwise it wouldn’t grow and get big and beautiful. I’d hear her out and quickly get back to playing.
Back then I really didn’t understand what she was doing. Now I see how it all works. Without the gardener coming in with those sharp pruning shears to remove all the dead, ugly, broken branches, you wouldn’t have any growth. Actually, all that dead and ugly stuff will eventually kill the plant. It takes a skillful gardener to come in and prune away all that junk. Some of it can be painful because it’s still attached and barely hanging on, the other junk is just there smothering the plant and it just needs to be pulled away.
In the book of John chapter 15, John talks about gardening but in this case, we are that rose bush or as John says, we are the vine and God the gardener. We are the rose bush (vine); God takes those shears and starts to trim away those things that are dead and broken in our life. The pruning can be things like bad relationships (1 Cor 15:33), addictions, or maybe it’s unforgiveness and hate we are holding on to. All these things prevent us from blooming and becoming who God wants us to be. Maybe people have put us down or called us names and we’re believing those things, but God says, “No, you’re my masterpiece” (Eph 2:10). We should quit believing in what the world says and believe the Gardener, He sees our beauty. He sees who we are in Him! Let’s allow Him to help us rediscover that beautiful rose. That rose that people see and ask, “Where did you get that? I want one!” Then, let’s share the love of the Gardener with them.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.”
~John 15:5-6 NLT