There are times in the dead of winter that I have a hard time imagining ANYTHING will every be growing or blooming in my flower beds.

Then Spring and Summer come and it’s an 

EXPLOSION of color that can’t be contained.

Somewhere in the middle of all that green there are plants vying for sunlight and air, wishing for water to nourish their leaves and roots.

They all manage to grow with what they’ve got, but many, many times

there are mint plants next to the carnations that I really didn’t plant there.

Or Columbine seeds in between the peonies, escapees from last year’s burst flower pods.

The unwanted Columbine is lovely to look at and the catmint has an herba-luscious smell,

but they’re both in the way of the growth of the flowers I really want there.

There are too many of them, too close together,

crowding out the air and groundspace, limiting the growth and overshadowing the leaves.

As I have been meditating on John Chapter 15 I was stopped by Jesus’ words about pruning:

“2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, 

and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, 

that it may bear more fruit.”

I’ve always thought about pruning as something painful….like the process of cutting back my lilacs in the summer or the way my husband wantonly hacks back the wayward branches on our Susan Magnolia.

Words like ‘ouch!’ usually come to mind.

But the other day as I dug out the roots of the mint plant (the runners were everywhere) I heard the Holy Spirit say, “This is how I prune you, reminding you about the ‘too much’ and the ‘too close together’ growth you have in your life.  You need to go after things by the roots, dig between the plants and pull out the extra growth that’s not from Me.”

I realized there are many good things I give my time to but they’re not all God things. (Often times they’re Jody Things.) 
If I want fruit in my life–and I do!–fruit that will remain
I want to hear the Holy Spirit speaking when it’s time to rip out what’s not from God
no matter how fragrant or beautiful it is. 
I want to bear fruit that God has produced, 
fruit like joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness
all those Jesus-like qualities that will make my Saviour’s beauty shine through.
Like the petals in my favorite flower, the Oriental poppy.

How about you? What is God pruning in your life?
Note: this is an edited version of a post from 2015.
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