Friday, January 4, 2013

Trust the One with the Shears

“It would be easier if I had something to grab on to…something to hold on to; but I have nothing.” I heard these hopeless words not that long ago coming out of the mouth of someone very dear to me, and I just did not know what to say. I am ashamed today at the fact that I just held on to my end of the receiver without being able to utter a syllable in replay to such a desperate cry for help; but I just didn't know what the right thing to say was; therefore, I fell silent.

Ever since then I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about it. I wish, so much I had known the right words to say then, or even now, but I still don’t. However, what I do know is that sometimes the Lord prunes our lives so closed down to the ground that it seems as if there is, indeed, nothing left to hang on to. The reason He does that is actually simple and practical. God prunes us like grape growers prune their valuable vines so we can produce more fruit. We see this analogy at the beginning of John 15: 1-2

“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.”

While reading about pruning vines I saw that the process allows the grower to focus the growth of the vine where he wants it, and determines how much fruit a vine will have. Each vineyard is different, with the variety of grape, location, fertility of the soil and climate all playing a role in the decision on how to best prune. Our Father, as the Perfect Gardener of our Souls, carefully plans a specific pattern of pruning for each of His children/branches depending on our circumstances, on our own individuality and uniqueness, for we are all different, just like each vineyard is different; but always with the same purpose and result, that we may all produce more fruit during the next growing season. He knows exactly what to prune so He focuses His shears on the area of our lives where He wants His fruit to grow.

I also read that whatever pruning method is used, with all pruning, it's all about balance: deciding just the right amount of fruit each vine and vineyard can comfortably ripen to perfection. Our Lord knows exactly how much to prune each of us so the result is perfect fruit. Sometimes it is necessary to prune right down to the ground; some other times the pruning might not be as intense and radical; but one thing is always true, while the pruning process is painful, it is always beneficial. The important thing is to trust the One with the shears and to know that He knows what He is doing.

I’m not sure that the next time someone expresses his or her frustration with their hurts in life I will know what to say. I will probably fall silent again, but I sure hope that at least I remember that the important thing is to remain in Him through the pruning process so when the next harvest season comes around, we can bear His perfect fruit.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15: 5

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Well, in what seems the blink of an eye, another year has gone by and one more has begun. This is traditionally the time to make resolutions. However, I don’t really feel like making any. It’s not that I don’t have goals, wishes and desires for this year (hoping the Holy Spirit grows His fruits in me to turn me into a good mother, wife, friend, sister and in-law at last tops the chart, closely followed by the hope that God gives me a forgiving heart and helps me walk closer to Him, and of course, the hope of losing weight!) But I don’t want to “officially” make any new year’s resolutions for 2013. I’m just thankful I survived 2012!

Last night, however, as I was laying on the floor next to my younger son’s bed, waiting for his fever to break, staring at the oversized picture of Spiderman glued to the ceiling above his bed, the Lord gave me a word to ponder. The word was “hope.” So as I thought about it, “hoping” the back ache I had for laying on the floor would go away as well as my son’s fever, I decided that “hope” was going to be my word for the year.

Without hope we have nothing. Like the song says, everything rides on hope. Regardless of the circumstances, hope must survive for without it we don’t survive. Hope comes from the Lord. Even though at times the troubles of this life seem overwhelming, hope helps us remember that the God we serve is, indeed, Good all the time. Even though He sometimes makes us go through tough storms without commanding them to stop at once; hope reminds us that above the dark clouds, the sky is still blue, and that God delivers us through the storms He appoints for us. True hope keeps us focused on Christ and helps us overcome. I can’t even fathom a life without hope for it is not life at all.

This morning, as I touched the face of my boy and realized that the fever has lowered, I know “hope” must be my “theme word” for 2013. My hope is in the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth as well as the Designer of the plan for my life, and it is a good plan…a perfect plan.

I "hope" you enjoy the song by Addison Road
Hope Now

I'm linking today with Whole Hearted HomeSimply Helping Him