Winter has hung on longer than usual here in western Washington. Daffodils have just started sprouting up. Crocuses put out vibrant petals a week before. But the cherry trees in town have yet to blossom.
This means more time for pruning. We have inherited a handful of fruit trees behind our new house. Dad and Jonathon went out to prune them. Sometimes, pruning can seem daunting. Which limbs should go? Which should stay? How do I optimize the life of the tree and its fruiting?
Jonathon got a little aggressive with the cutting. The trees look more, um, sculptural than usual.
“Well,” my dad told him, “you can do that. But you might not have any fruit next year.”
Jonathon felt bad.
“You mean, I might have trimmed them too much?” he asked.
For us, owning fruit trees is a learning curve. We will learn what works and what doesn’t. We can observe the next season and correct if necessary.
But it made me think. You may feel like you’ve been pruned back in your life. The things you used to do, the things that made you happy or helped life make sense may have gotten stripped away. Maybe people moved away. Maybe activities dried up. Maybe the Lord moved you a different direction. Any way you look at it, you got pruned. Your life acquired more restrictions. Your path narrowed to what looks like a trail winding up a mountainside.
Maybe, just maybe, you feel you got pruned back to stubs. Nothing is growing. Nothing is blossoming or bursting up out of the ground for you. You feel a sense of hopelessness. You battle restlessness. I want to tell you it’s coming. The growth is coming. It’s alright to be in a fallow season. You don’t have to be putting out huge crops all the time. Change happens to all of us. You can get refreshed and let the season come upon you when God deems it’s time. The pruning, the cutting away, the trimming, it all has a purpose. The new direction will become clear. Don’t lose hope. Stay on the new trail. Find the joy in the journey. The Master Gardener holds you in His hands.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. – Galatians 6:9