My Heart-God’s Garden

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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5 thoughts on “My Heart-God’s Garden

  1. Flowers, oh goodness, I’m so hungry for blooms these days! I keep splurging on them when I buy groceries. What stirs me most deeply, though, is the yearning of your heart after God’s heart and His ways. I will gratefully take this example into the day ahead . . .

  2. I too always responded with an “ouch” when encountering John 15:2. Your insight is very helpful, Jody. I’m thinking of the times excess is pruned from shelves or closets and it feels so good to be rid of clutter. That’s what I need to look forward to as God clears away what’s not from Him.

    1. Oh yes and amen to the decluttering–I think it’s very similar to prayer, a physical expression of an inward process. We focus on what to keep-what’s important–and what to let go of–what we no longer need. I think it’s the letting go part that is the hardest.

  3. John 15 is ever-present in my mind and I’m exceedingly grateful that our Lord loves me enough to prune. You’re right, “ouch” many times, but when I think of the love and tender care, my heart melts.

    Gorgeous webpage by the way, Jodi.

    1. thank you, Carol. He is always pruning us, eh? And thanks for the website compliment–I just redid it and I’m so pleased with it 🙂

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