Monday, October 31, 2011
I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. John 15:1-3 (The Message)
Last week's wet, heavy snowstorm and its aftermath has me thinking about such things as pruning. Dwight is an avid landscape artist, and is a fanatical pruner. I always rather cringe when I see the fruits of his pruning labors, but he always tells me how important it is to the health of the bushes and trees. I understand the concept, but it's still painful to watch.
When the storm hit last Wednesday, many people lost power from one day to 3 or 4. Much of the problem was caused by tree branches landing on overhead power lines.
We were fortunate in three ways - our power lines are underground, most of our leaves had fallen and/or been blown off our huge trees already, AND we had 5 of the trees pruned and shaped as recently as last week. It seemed extreme to me to have so much removed, but I had to bow to the expertise of Dwight and the tree guys. And am I ever glad they did their jobs so well. We missed out on the massive clean-up that has been going on in our town this last few days.
I had noticed the huge cottonwood tree in the front yard of the neighbors behind us - it was huge, nicely formed, and still completely filled with green leaves - not even the beginning of color change, when most of the trees in town were losing their leaves. Unfortunately, because of the heaviness of the snow on the still-full branches, this tree was totally decimated, and their front yard was completely inundated with fallen branches. The tree looks very sad now.
So, I came to these conclusions about life and trees. When God uses his pruning shears on me, it can be very painful. But if I allow Him to work on my life and show me things that need to be changed, I will be stronger and more able to withstand the storms of life. On the other hand, if I am weighted down by proverbial green leaves, I could find myself bogged down and unable to keep from breaking when the snowstorms of life pile up.
(Header picture taken by my pastor's wife on a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park).