Grandma Lehman says you can prune your non-flowering shrubs in any month that has an “r” in its name. (Pause, pause while you think that one through!)
Here we are in September and these bushes are out of control. If I’m honest, they’ve needed cut back for a couple of years now but since they aren’t in the front of the house they also aren’t in the front of my mind! They block the view from the deck, but they aren’t really causing any other problems. In fact, the only time I really think about them is here in the fall, when they turn this beautiful red (and how about this throwback pic?), and I wouldn’t consider cutting that off!
But the truth is that they need trimmed if I am ever going to see off my deck again, and for their own good so that new growth occurs. And we know that this is similar to parts of our lives that are blocking our growth. They might not be causing huge problems and they might now always be on our minds, but they need to go in order to make room for things or habits or thoughts that are better. There’s probably never a time that seems good for pruning our lives because it usually means letting go of something we’ve kind of secretly enjoyed. Resentment. Doing a job that we get lots of pats on the back for. Unhealthy or sinful habits.
For the bushes, pruning means that this fall I probably won’t get to see much of that beautiful red. But I am already excited to see what they look like when the green leaves appear next spring. And I’m certain that a year from now the red will be better than ever!
Our products labeled “Vine and Branches” remind us of these verses from John 15: I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. What would some pruning in your life look like? Is there something God’s calling you to that you aren’t doing because you’ve let other things get in the way?