The Master Gardener

by Laurie Green

Have you ever seen a pruned rose bush? It was February when I first noticed the pruned flowers. I remember staring out the window as we drove through a neighborhood and seeing all these “cut up bushes.”

There is really nothing pretty about a pruned bush. To the novice eye, it appears that someone got happy with pruning shears and hacked the bush down into something that belongs in a Tim Burton movie.

However, to the trained eye of a gardener, they know that each branch has been cut with precision and purpose. They know that, as they cut away the old, this will, in the right time, produce the most beautiful of roses.

This got me thinking about how often I forget that God is the ultimate master gardener of my life. In the same way a gardener prunes his plants, God will prune our lives. He works with complete precision as he cuts away the old branches in our lives that we no longer need. During this process, we feel ugly and don’t resemble anything pretty, but God knows exactly what growing potential we have! When He looks at us, He sees us in our full bloom.

There have been many times I have faced difficult moments in my life. I have lost loved ones, and I have learned life is short. It goes by in a blink of an eye. Through those painful times, I became the type of person who tries to always tell my family and friends that I love them. I never forget to kiss my husband and kids good morning or goodbye.

Like they say, hindsight is always 20/20. It’s easier to see the purpose of our pains once we have gotten to the other side of them, but oh those moments that we are in the full midst of our pruning. It’s hard to see ahead what good will come out of those painful moments.

I can only imagine what a rose bush would say if it could see itself in a mirror during this pruning season. Would it wonder why the gardener clipped away so much that it doesn’t even recognize itself?

Would it know the gardener does this to help it produce beautiful, healthy roses at just the right season? Does the rose bush know that the gardener knows exactly what they are doing? I suppose it’s good that roses can’t talk.

But what about us and the lives we live? How often have we questioned what God is doing in us and through us during our pruning season? How often do we question His goodness in tough times? Many times we forget that just because we grow so many branches during our seasons of life, they may not be beneficial to us. This is where God will prune us in such a way that we will have strong roots and mighty branches.

John 15:2 says, “He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”

Lucky for us that God knows each and every branch of our life that needs to be cut and pruned. It’s in those moments that you feel the worst and you question the pain you have that you can trust that God is only making you stronger and more beautiful than you could ever imagine. After all, He is the Ultimate Master Gardener.