In last Saturday’s early morning fresh air, I cleaned the flower beds. First I tackled the tall purple coneflowers, whose seed heads had provided the birds with winter food. With my handheld, small shears, I quickly cut. Snip, snip, down they came.
Next came the yarrow: snip, snip, the old dried stalks were quickly removed. From there I moved to the bee balm, then the snapdragons and the daisies. Soon all the dead flower stalks from last summer were cut and removed. Once the dead stalks were gone, the new growth underneath became more visible. Over the next few days, all the tender new plants grew quickly, for they now received ample sunlight.
In the same way that I prune the dead stalks from my flower bed in the spring, I prune away the dead habits from my soul and make room for God’s Holy Spirit to grow and flourish. I take the shears to my independence and pride and cut them down, allowing God’s strength to grow from the roots of my weakness. Snip, snip, down goes the pride. Next, cut down time wasted in useless pursuits. Snip, snip, get rid of the wasted time and allow time for study of God’s holy word and quiet reflection of His greatness. Next, prune a complaining spirit and a willingness to gossip. Snip, snip, down go the negative words and thoughts, allowing God’s love for others to grow strong and vigorous in me. In the last flower bed a healthy crop of doubt and discouragement grows. Snip snip, cut down the doubt and discouragement, allowing faith in my awesome God to grow to a mighty tree.
Oh God, author of wisdom and truth, prune away my dead branches. Eliminate the old, useless vines so your new growth will flourish.
John 15:2 “He cuts off every branch in me that bears not fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”