Friday, December 7, 2012

Rooted In Christ by Nina Keegan Owens

I don't know a whole lot about the ins and outs of gardening, in fact, that whole green thumb thing, well... let's just say my thumb is more of the brownish variety. I love to plant flowers and selecting all the various plants and flowers to make beautiful borders and potted arrangements is not the problem, in fact, they actually can look quite professional when I finish planting even if I do say so myself. Then comes the hard part, keeping them alive!! Living in Texas, it's always so hot and plants are in constant need of water and require weeding continually. It is imperative that the plants have good soil, fertilizer, and of course as I've recently discovered, pruning! Ummm.....pruning?....

After a trip to the nursery armed with samples of my dead and brown, crunchy, plants and clippings from the,"there is still hope yet"ones; the diagnostician of sorts began a lengthy lecture on yes, pruning! Plants grow so fast and all year in Texas. They require pruning or cutting them way back so as they can go through a new growing cycle. I was actually told that cutting off all the pretty blooms can make the plants thicker, fuller and able to produce many more blossoms. Cutting off the plant when it is at its height of beauty did not seem to make much sense to me. However, who am I to question these professionals that know best and actually grow things for a living? Who knew that cutting off something beautiful on the outside of the plant is so good for its life and longevity. This process is vital to the production of a rich and beautiful harvest. So....pruning it is!

Pruning is defined as to cut or lop off superfluous or undesired twigs, branches, or roots, to trim away, and to rid or clear of (anything superfluous or undesirable).

Do you ever feel like God is in the major pruning business in your life, like He has just about lopped off all you can take? Maybe you feel like you have hit your bottom and there is nothing left to prune away. Do not be discouraged. God is just stripping away all the negative parts that are blocking blessings in your life and stifling your faith. Sometimes God must take us down to the bare necessities to remind us of what is important and that no matter what we are going through, we can fully rely on Him.

God is that professional pruner in our lives, He is our master gardner and He knows what is best in every area of our lives. We, like plants need to be shaped and groomed, pruned, watered and fed. Sometimes when we are in what seems like a stagnant, rough patch in our lives, where we feel like we are so lost and broken; we are just undergoing some needful pruning so that we can grow and develop in our walks with God. At those times in our lives, God prepares us for a new life, new blooms and the beautiful fruit we will eventually produce. Our branches must be strong, Our roots sturdy and deeply entrenched in rich soil, (the word of God). We need only to see the trees in winter, so bare, and so desolate, a harsh transitional time, a must for them to be brilliant in spring and so densely heaped full of buds and beautiful blossoms to realize the amazing transformation one can make. Even in the toughest climates, deep roots stay protected. We too will remain strong and protected when we are deeply rooted in Christ.

(John15:2) Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit.

The more deeply rooted we are in Christ the more beautiful our harvest will be. We must grow in our faith by allowing God to prune us and change us into who He has fearfully and wonderfully made us to be. We may not always like the pruning process, in fact at times it can be quite uncomfortable, but rest assured it is necessary for our spiritual growth and divine well being. The fruit we will produce from that pruning and spiritual growth is life changing. It is the fruit of the spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

We not only should expect God to prune us, but we should invite him to do so and thank Him in the process. We should pray that God removes (prunes) away all things in our lives that are not of Him. You may be stuck in a relationship that is not God's best for you. You may have an addiction or stronghold that binds you. You may be hanging out with wrong people that could lead you astray and take you down the wrong path. You may just need to have negativity and unforgiveness pruned away. Negative people in your life are like weeds that choke off the beautiful vine. If the weeds are left to grow wild in our gardens, you will never have a beautiful, rich, harvest.

Jeremiah 17:7-8
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

God does not ever remove something from your life without replacing it with something bigger and better, God is in the restoration business. We must trust Him. He knows what He's doing and God never makes mistakes. Everything God does in your life has a divine purpose. Sometimes we have to suffer to evoke change in our lives. We may have to end a long term relationship, or endure certain hardships. We may not always understand what God is doing because we can only see a tiny pinpoint of our lives at a time but God sees an eternity. We could never handle all He knows and has planned for us at one time so he doles out precious nuggets to us on a need to know basis. Our Godly designed path may be foggy up ahead. We may only be able to see what's right in front of us but God goes before us making the pathway clear, He makes the crooked places straight. He clears the path of any debris that we could stumble upon. He weeds the path and makes it beautiful. He places everything we need in exact locations on that beautifully landscaped path. He always goes before us and gently guides us, leading us and encouraging us to be better. When we come upon rough waters and rocky terrain, well... it's during those times, He carries us...

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. Isaiah 42:16

1 Peter 1:6: So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.

Give your life over to Christ. The master gardner that can turn you in to the most beautiful of all creations. Of all the lovely and amazing things God has made, it's you He is most proud of! you are created in the image of God! Let Him break off the dead branches that are a hindrance to your spiritual growth. Those trials and setbacks you face are temporary. They are only there to get us ready for a beautiful new season of spiritual growth, blessings and welcomed change. Keep yourself firmly planted and deeply rooted in the word of God so when you are in the midst of a trial, you will be well equipped to stay strong and grow immensely in the knowledge and wisdom of God's love.

Luke 8:11-15
"This is the meaning of the parable of the seed" The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Heavenly Father, we love and trust you with our whole hearts. We give our lives to you to prune away all things that keep us from being our best. We know that when you have stripped away all that is not of you , we will be a beautiful new creation full of joy and happiness. We thank you for loving us so perfectly!
In Jesus name we pray..

1 comment:

  1. Aww beautifully written! I just love that analogy...God pruning us to make us into the creation He intended. Mmmm good stuff!! Love ya!