No doubt you've heard that God "prunes" those He loves. That He "clips" away things in our lives that are unnecessary, unhelpful, sinful, wrong, etc.. And, as I'm sure you know, it's painful. It hurts to watch those things being taken from our lives, and sometimes our hearts. We don't want to change, we don't want to let go. We don't want the pain and hurt. I'm also assuming that you've heard that God prunes and clips and purges in love, because He loves us, because He's growing us, because it's best for us ... even if it doesn't seem like it.
Since the weather is turning cold (the snow on the ground is a sure sign) it's time to trim back the flowers and cover the ones that need covering. If you've read my posts about my roses you know I love them. Their beauty, their smell, their everything. God makes my roses grow so wonderfully and they bring joy and happiness to my heart when I see them and tend them.
If you know anything about roses you know (at least in Minnesota) you clip them back and cover them well so they can make it through the winter.
So the other day, out I went, clippers in hand, to the roses. So tall and once beautiful, but untended, as my work schedule is busy. I realized that in order for them to have continued to bloom and grow, cutting must have been done. As I stood looking at my roses my trials came to mind. God was cutting, I need to change, I need to let go.
I knelt and started clipping the green stems. Some of them were thin and easily let go of the other part of the stem. Others were thick, and I had a hard time clipping them off, reluctant as they were to be separated from the other part of the stem. *Clip* I realized that struggles in life were kind of that way, too. Some things are easy to let go, they don't mean so much to me. I trust that God's doing what's right and I let go. And then there's the other kind ... the things that are so dear, "thick" like the rose stems, which are hard to let go of. I start to question why they must be taken. Is it really in love that He cuts away? But as I looked at my roses, I knew the answer. I loved my roses, and even though it was hard to clip the back, and see the things taken away, I knew it was best, that in order for them to grow properly they must be cut back. I didn't do it to "hurt" the roses, but I knew next year they would bloom and grow. And I also knew that next year I wouldn't be able to tell that I'd cut them back. That the cuts wouldn't show. New growth would cover what is now bare.
Today I covered my roses with leaves and rocks to keep them from growing too soon in the spring.
As I covered them, I could see where I'd cut them back just a few weeks before. I couldn't help but think that God does the same thing. When we're hurt and in pain, He covers us with His grace, His mercy, His love, His care ... His hand. To guide, direct, protect, help, comfort and sustain us.
Maybe God is taking, cutting things out of your life (maybe from your heart). I can now say, with new understanding, that it's all in love. He only purges and cuts in love, because He knows it's best and couldn't possibly be anything else! Remember, He doesn't just cut and purge and then leave, He's there, sustaining, comforting, helping ... loving.
Rose pictures found at www.allposters.com.