We have a large escallonia bush in our front garden, but it grew old and straggly and stopped flowering. We decided it needed pruning, so following advice, I cut out the dead wood. When I had finished there wasn’t much left. As a friend of ours said - “it’s got two chances, it can live or die.” Thankfully it lived. The following year it sprouted new growth. Now it’s a mass of healthy foliage and covered in pink blossom in season. Just goes to prove that you have to be cruel to be kind.
It reminds me of the time when, owing to burn-out, my Christian work had to finish, work that gave me fulfilment and purpose. I lost sense of awareness and perception and God seemed to have hidden. It was devastating at first, I felt all alone and frightened. I could identify with King Nebuchadnezzar, who was reduced to a brass-bound stump.
But slowly, very slowly I got used to the situation and yielded to God in it, putting my trust in Him. As the months went by I came to realise that without doing anything but looking to Him, I was being changed inside. The Gardener was tending and feeding my roots. He was feeling my feelings with me and I experienced His healing touch. I was learning new ways and rediscovering hidden talent and gifts. Fresh shoots were sprouting. Several years later I could look back and realise that new branches had grown.
I can now honestly say that I am thankful this happened. Through it I have come to know more of the real me and have a broader heart knowledge of God. The journey goes on and there will be more pruning. Hopefully not as drastic as before. The Gardener will use His sharp knife to lovingly trim a branch to encourage further healthy growth.
”Proper pruning is as much a skill as it is an art, since badly pruned plants can become diseased or grow in undesirable ways.” quotation